Jumpstart Your Winter Fitness

by Marsha Hudnall

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Winter fitness options to manage weight | Tips to stay active in winterWinter weight gain plagues the best of us.

We begin the season with a month-long celebration of food and drink, then stare down a couple of months where often the most appealing thing is to curl up on the sofa with a good book to wait out the weather. New Year’s Resolutions aside, the list of reasons why we can’t get moving multiply as our resolve to take care of ourselves takes a beating.

Change that too-familiar scenario this winter with these ideas to jumpstart your fitness program from Green Mountain’s fitness spa experts. They’re not just about how to get moving in inclement weather, but how to actually enjoy it!

  • Walk this way. Snowy conditions can make your regular paths more treacherous than you’re comfortable with. If so, strap on a pair of snowshoes to take you safely on your usual track, or well off the beaten path for a delightful winter walk. Do it on a bright day and benefit from the restorative power of the sun, especially for those who tend towards winter depression. No snow in your part of the world? You’ll still profit from a walk in the crisp, fresh air.
  • Have a ball. A snowball fight, that is! Join the kids for a rousing fight to increase your heart rate and warm your heart strings.
  • Slide into fitness. Jump on a sled for the ride of your life. Treks back up the hill give a great workout.
  • Go downhill, uphill or across the hill. You’ve got all the options with skis. If you’ve never downhill skied, be sure to get the proper equipment and a lesson or two. Or try snowboarding (again, with the right equipment and lessons). Cross-country skiing offers a variety of choices – skate, classic, backcountry or telemarking. Any choice will leave you feeling invigorated and well exercised. If youare too intimidated on your own, come to Green Mountain where our supportive staff will teach you to cross-country ski or snow shoe!
  • It’s nice on the ice. Look for indoor skating rinks if you don’t live in snow country.
  • Build the best. Put together a family construction crew to make the best snowman yet. Take on the neighbors in a block contest and help them get active and have fun, too!
  • Move it indoors. The weather just too bitter? Get creative for fun and fitness. Dance the morning, afternoon or night away; sign up for salsa, country line, ballroom or belly dancing classes with your significant other. Find a community pool to swim or take part in aquaexercise classes. Sign up for yoga, pilates, aerobic or other types of fitness classes that appeal. Join a friend at the local gym for regular workouts. Scout out bargains at the mall as you cruise past store windows. Borrow a variety of fitness videos from the library to find those that feel right for you.
  • Talk this way. No matter what climate you live in, keep all the feel-good benefits of physical activity top of mind instead of focusing on the barriers. For example, if you wake up to a less-than-perfect day, remember how great you feel after a brisk walk, and how great your day goes, to help get you up and out without delay.

Whatever the weather, stay creative to keep your energy levels up and a spring in your step, in anticipation of Spring that really is just around the corner!

Read our Fitbriefing: Five Tips for a Fun, Feel-Good & Fit Winter!

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