Suggestions for Staying Active This Winter and Fostering Year Round Fitness…
The urge to “fatten up” and “hibernate” in winter is strong, even for us humans. However, you are better off staying in shape than struggling to catch up come spring. Winter exercise benefits more than just your physical fitness: it is also a powerful antidote for the winter blues.
Options for winter workouts vary by your interests and your location. People who live in warmer, sunnier climates have the outdoor advantage over those of us in the Northeast who have to live with the cold temperatures and snow. But being outdoors in the winter can be exhilarating. Look at Rocky Balboa…all he needed was 2-3 feet of snow covered wasteland, a pile of wood to cut and throw around, a cold barn to workout in, a “Paulie” weighted sled, a few trees to chop down, and a snow covered mountain to climb (watch this if you need a visual: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8xHjC27YvM&NR=1). If it worked for him, it can work for you. And look at how much fun he had!!!
Rocky workouts aside, more common winter activities include snow shoeing, ice skating, downhill and cross country skiing (regarded as one of the best cardiovascular workouts). Winter exercise is not without its risks and challenges. In below freezing weather, frostbite and hypothermia are of concern, while rainy climates make it difficult to stay both warm and dry. Make certain that you wear the right clothing to protect your skin and maintain your body temperature. Do not skimp on the warm up exercises! Your muscles take longer to loosen up in colder weather, making injury more likely without adequate preparation.
If outdoor exercise in winter weather is not to your liking, shift your focus indoors. Head to a gym or health club facility like All Access Fitness Academy for sports, fitness classes, and your swimming workouts. Many facilities also have indoor pools. Swimming is an excellent year-round activity that is gentle on your joints and enhances your cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility.
In many communities, walkers take to the indoor shopping malls in winter. Local walking clubs, health clubs, and some malls sponsor mall walking programs. Finally, many communities and sports complexes offer sport leagues for people of all ages including basketball, indoor soccer, floor hockey, flag football, etc. Getting a team together with a few friends is a great way to stay in shape and have fun if you prefer an indoor activity in the winter.
In all seasons, varying your activities (cross training) will reduce the likelihood of injury and help prevent boredom. Focus alternately on strength and endurance, flexibility and balance, and skills specific to your favorite sports or fitness activities.
If you need some new ideas on training regimens during the winter months, give us a call. We can help you design a winter fitness program to facilitate your specific fitness goals while keeping you in shape and injury free.
- Tags: ACL injury, Adhesive capsulitis, Ankle, ankle brace, ankle exercise, ankle injury, ankle sprains, ankle swelling, ankle treatment, athletes, back injury rehabilitation, Balance, Core Exercise, core stabilization, Disc injury, disc rehabilitation, Disc Surgery, Dynamic Stretching, Dynamic Warm-up Exercise, epicondylitis, exercise, Exercise benefits, foam roller, functional capacity, Golf Conditioning, Golf training, Heart Attack, High Blood Pressure, injured muscles, Injury prevention, joint mobilization, Kettlebells, Kinetic Chain, ligaments, Low back injuries, Low Back Pain, lumbosacral injury, manual therapy, massage, muscles, Neck pain, Physical therapy, Physical therapy for Golf, physioball, posture correction, posture exercises, productivity, resistance training, Rocky winter exercise, rotator cuff, shin splints, shoulder, shoulder impingement, shoulder injury, shoulder rehabilitation, stree Tendonitis, swimming, Tennis, tennis elbow, time to exercise, transverse abdominus, treatment, walking speed, weight loss and exercise, weight training, winter activities, winter exercise, winter fitness, workplace