Dreary winter weather is gripping much of the nation this week! Whether you’re a Baby Boomer or older adult, and whether it’s rain, snow, or just plain cold outside—it’s enough to squash even the most die-hard exercisers’ plans. It’s just too easy to use the weather as an excuse to sit around watching movies or making chocolate chip cookies (my go-to rainy day indulgence…on occasion, of course!).
So I’m re-publishing guidelines I’ve put out in the past, with a few modifications, to help you keep up your exercise goals when a warm fire is beckoning!
- Explore unusual indoor possibilities. Your local mall is an excellent place to get your cardio workout: complete a power walk and climb the stairs! Some malls even have activity stops and show the portion of a mile completed with each revolution around the inside perimeter.
- Check out the local community center for an indoor game of basketball; don’t forget about the local gym—open year-round for your exercise enjoyment!
- Invest in an activity tracker or smartwatch. These devices will help motivate you to move throughout the day to reach your steps goal. To boost indoor movement, march during commercials, walk while talking on the phone, or volunteer for extra chore duty (sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning and taking out the trash).
- Find a work-out buddy. Even if you can’t get out for physical activity, a buddy can provide friendly reminders or competition to keep you moving!
- If you’re stuck inside due to bad weather or darkness, don’t despair. Set your timer for 15 minutes and walk as briskly as possible up and down your hallways. I do this often in the winter to complete my exercise minutes/steps.
Here are a few more cold weather tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- If your physical activity takes you outside, be sure to check the weather forecast before you leave home; wind chill can drop the temperature dramatically.
- If you get completely wet, you may not be able to keep your core temperature high enough.
- Dress in layers, as the body generates heat with increased exercise. The Mayo Clinic recommends “First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer.”
- Protect your head, hands, feet, and ears. Because blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core during chilly weather, these other areas are more vulnerable to damage from the cold.
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration, which we don’t think about in cold weather.
- And finally, let somebody know your planned exercise route and expected return time, just in case…
If you’re determined to continue your fitness goals throughout the year, don’t let bad weather become an excuse to get lazy. Plan ahead and listen to your body (your brain will be your worst enemy, finding reasons to veg out), and then just go!
For additional ideas to keep fit this winter, give me a call!
We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for your friends or family.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that—oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.
Lisa Teresi Harris is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, and author of the book Building Your Enduring Fitness. A certified Geri-Fit Instructor, she helps Boomers and seniors to regain and keep muscle strength, mobility, and energy.
Contact Lisa to inquire about a customized, in-home fitness program for you or a loved one.