Tips for Winter Workouts

Q. I have a question for you, Brian. I just started working out over this past summer, and now winter is nearly upon us. I worry about not being able to get out to the gym as often as I’d like as the weather gets bad. What should I do?

 

 

A. Thank you for your question! I know it’s one that a lot of senior citizens have, because I specialize in working with baby boomers. I have many clients that bring this issue up to me. Depending on where you live, it may even become a major issue if where you live gets snowy conditions.

So let’s assume that winter may pose a few challenges here and there for senior citizens who need to get out to exercise. Now that we have identified it as a problem, we can consider some ways to address it, so that we can successfully get through the season. The goal is to continue getting exercise and maintain your fitness routine, even if your driveway is snowed in, or ice covers your windshield.

Here are a few things that you can do to address this challenge:

  • Be flexible. If you usually work out every Monday morning, you may need to once in while during the winter change your workout day to Tuesday morning. Since you don’t know what day may be too cold or snow to head outside, you should just agree to be more flexible over the winter, but still make sure you get your work out in.
  • Find alternatives. Let’s say that your area just got hit with a snow storm and you don’t think it’s safe to get out to exercise. This is the perfect time to turn to an alternative exercise option. Luckily there are plenty of good options to choose from, including everything from home aerobic videos to stationary exercise bikes.
  • Remain positive. The last thing you need to do is let the winter challenges bring you down. This may be all it takes to get you off track for months. Instead, remain positive and focused.
  • Go outdoors. If the weather is not too bad and it seems safe, head outdoors for a little exercise. Even on some brisk days, depending on where you are located, you can take a walk or bike ride outside in the winter.

Winter is going to keep on coming each year. But we can’t let it become an excuse for why we don’t continue our fitness and exercise program. It may pose challenges, but senior citizen or not, we need to keep going forward. And that forward, on a cold winter day, may be exercising right in the living room of your home!

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2 thoughts on “Tips for Winter Workouts

  1. Rex McNew

    Most importantly is for all us to remember why did we achieve our
    fitness goals? Why to we still struggle to eat right? Why do we still
    struggle to go the gym? It’s called consistency. We stayed with what we
    started and we did not fail. We always have to remember that we can still
    fail is we stop being consistent. I go to the gym consistently. I have
    worked too hard and have come to far. I will never fail. Rex McNew

  2. West

    Winter opens an opportunity to participate in healthy activities unavailable in the summer. The two that come to mind are cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Winter sports can require some spendy equipment, but much of this can be rented or purchased used, which is a great way to see if you like an activity before you dump hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars.
    If you live somewhere with persistent hard packed snow, you can still run on it. In Anchorage Alaska there’s a running store that would affix studs to your running shoes in the fall (for $10). The studs are just hex-headed sheet metal screws with a short shaft. I found if I screwed eight screws evenly spaced into the edge of each shoe I had awesome traction on ice and packed snow. When I hit a dry spot on the trail the studs where noticeable, but not uncomfortable.
    One thing to watch out for while exercising in cold weather is over exertion especially if you haven’t worked out in a while. The cold hides the warning signs of over exertion. Your body doesn’t overheat like it does when you exert yourself in warm weather. Cold temperatures also tend to increase blood pressure. In areas with heavy snows the first snow of the year brings an increase in the heart attach rate. So, even if you did eat the entire holiday turkey don’t try to burn it all off in your first work out in six months on Jan 1.

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