Despite the cold and snow, it is possible to stay active and fit during the winter months.
Snow. Wind. Sub-zero temperatures. Icy roads. It’s winter, all right. If you’re lacking the motivation to strap on your running shoes and head out for a jog, or to even hit the gym for that matter, you’re not alone. Many people who are active in the spring and summer find it difficult to adjust to the short, dark days and cold weather and see their activity levels plummet. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. Some planning and preparation can help you maintain your fitness routine, and heck, maybe even enjoy the winter months.
Prefer the Outdoors?
If your idea of a good time, and a good workout, is being outside in the fresh air, there are lots of options. Just make sure you prepare your body for the cooler temps. The following tips apply to runners, walkers, skiers, snowshoers, sledders, ice skaters, etc.:
- Dress in layers that you can easily shed as your body temperature increases. Wear a base layer made from a synthetic wicking material (not cotton) to help you stay warm and dry. Your second layer should be an insulating material like fleece, and the outer layer should be wind- and water-proof. Don’t forget about your head and hands. On cold days, you can lose as much as 10 percent and 30 percent, respectively, of your heat from these areas. Runners should pay particular attention to their footwear.
- Warm up before heading outside. Do jumping jacks or jog in place for five to 10 minutes so you’re already warm before stepping out the door.
- Stay hydrated. You’ll still sweat, even though it’s cold out, so be sure to drink water before and after your workout.
Or, Perhaps You Prefer the Indoors
If the thought of exercising outside chills you to the bone, don’t despair. The Capital Region offers myriad calorie-burning indoor activities that are fun for the whole family.
- Flight Trampoline Park: This place goes beyond the flimsy set-up you had in your backyard as a child and is suitable for all ages. You can practically bounce your way across the entire floor, play dodgeball and basketball, and more. For a challenging workout, try the boot camp on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Take it from me – it’s a lot harder than you think.
- Sky Zone: Another indoor trampoline park option, Sky Zone places a significant emphasis on the health benefits of jumping, which include improved cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and balance and coordination, and offers several programs for kids and a Skyrobics workout for adults.
- A.I.R. (Albany’s Indoor Rockgym): For the more adventurous types, A.I.R. offers more than 6,000 square feet of climbing surfaces for all skill levels, an intricate cave system that spans 1½ miles, and a 60-foot roundtrip zipline.
- Zero Gravity Laser Tag and Arcade: Get your heart, and adrenaline, pumping at this 5,000-square-foot multi-level arena. Feeling competitive? You’ll have the opportunity to vie for the most points with up to 40 other players.
- Afrim’s Sports Center: For adults and kids alike, Afrim’s features indoor soccer (as well as adult soccer leagues) and football fields, a driving range, a fitness center, and more at its two locations in Albany and Latham.
- Clifton Park Ice Arena: Ice skating combines a cardio workout with a fun, family-friendly activity. New to skating or a bit rusty? Lessons for all ages are offered. Check out All Over Albany for a list of outdoor and indoor skating rinks throughout the Capital Region.
- CDPHP® Wellness Classes: Attention members! Don’t forget that you have access to a range of free wellness classes that are offered throughout the area. Topics include fitness, nutrition, senior health, health education, and more.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Keep an eye on the local newspapers for various goings-on, and of course, the Internet is always a valuable resource.
For an added motivational boost, and to track your progress, get in the habit of using CDPHP® InMotionSM. You can also log your mileage and calorie intake, map routes, find friends, and more.
One Final Thought: Grab a Buddy
If finding the inspiration to exercise is still a challenge, ask a friend to join you. Fitness experts agree that when you’re accountable to someone else, you’re less likely to skip your workout. Some things to consider are goals, schedules, and fitness levels. If you’re hoping to maintain your running regimen, you’ll want to find someone who’s of like mind and isn’t fazed by the brisk temperatures. Even if you prefer to keep your workouts indoors, make plans to meet your friend at the gym or any of the places mentioned above. Another option is to turn your home into a gym using one of the countless fitness apps out there or even popping in a workout DVD.
Inside or outside, at home or at the gym – all that matters is that you keep moving.