As the leaves begin to fall, and the warm days of summer give way to the cool nights of fall, it is apparent that winter isn’t far behind. While warm summer weather offers many opportunities for exercise, winter weather can often limit your exercise options. Develop your winter workout strategy now, to prevent the extra pounds that show up as lazy Sunday afternoons watching football, and extra helpings of holiday treats become the norm.
Adapt your running routine
According to Livestrong.com, road running has been proven to be harder than treadmill running. Wind resistance and changing terrain provide additional challenges for the body. Moving indoors when the weather prevents outdoor running means having to adapt your routine to be just as challenging on the treadmill. Be sure to be careful with your form on the treadmill. Also consider increasing your incline or time to sufficiently achieve muscle fatigue. A great benefit of running a treadmill is that it is much easier is maintain a steady pace as it is programmable on the treadmill.
Add stretching for flexibility
The warmer summer weather and more frequent activity keeps muscles looser but as the cold weather and lazy days set in, muscles tighten and cause an increased feeling of stiffness. Make it a point to add some stretches to your daily routine. Even a basic hamstring stretch as you get out of bed each morning can increase flexibility. The benefit of increased flexibility is the additional injury protection you get when your body can respond to sudden awkward movements like slipping on ice.
Learn to Love Layers
Although common sense dictates that cold weather isn’t particularly fun to workout in, you still see die hard runners running down your street all bundled up. You’ve got to wonder what you are missing. Here is the secret- you need the right gear. Science and manufacturing have come a long way in making weatherproof materials that are comfortable and affordable. Many skiers will tell you of the amazing benefits l Underarmor can provide. These slim, technologically engineered fabrics, wick away moisture but lock in heat making for a comfortable workouts in questionable temperatures.
There are a lot of great classes available to fitness centers across the country. The benefits of group fitness are numerous. Having a set workout time and peer to work out with will strengthen your willpower to show up and complete the whole workout. You will be cheered on and challenged by classmates, who often times wind up becoming friends.
If group fitness just isn’t an option for you, there are thousands of great at home DVD workouts available. From a low cost of $5 for a used copy, upwards to a couple hundred for an entire workout system like P90x, there is definitely an option available that will be beneficial and fun for you!
Working out at home or at a fitness center provides you with ongoing fitness options in any weather and the ability to control the temperatures. Really want to sweat? Crank up your heat!
Try Something New!
Short days and long dark nights, and a bit of cabin fever and really send you into a rut in the wintertime. Try replacing bad habits, like lounging on the couch all weekend, with fun new habits! Try a new class or new sport like skiing. Trying something new creates excitement which will motivate you to keep going. The excitement from your new fitness adventure coupled with those workout endorphins can keep you feeling great all winter long!
Long cold winters can easily derail your fitness success. Early planning for adapting your workout will keep your excited about your routine and will help you maintain the frequency you need to get maximum benefits from each workout.
Treadmill Vs. Road. http://www.livestrong.com/article/83376-treadmill-vs.-road/
Accessed September 13, 2010.