Keeping fit through the winter
As the weather cools and mornings and evenings get darker, it becomes more and more tempting to curl up on the couch and hibernate.
It takes tenacity to exercise consistently through the shoulder season.
Last weekend, I saw a lot of tenacious people when I was out mountain biking above Batchelor Heights.
Everyone was bundled up and taking advantage of trails that are still perfectly dry.
The secret is clothing.
Having the proper clothes to keep from getting too cold or sweating too hard under layers that don’t breathe is the answer to enjoying the cooler fall temperatures.
Of course, there is always a risk of rain or storms, so carrying an extra layer in your pocket can make the difference.
Last week, we went for a ride and got hit by a localized storm, complete with thunder, lightning and freezing cold rain, surrounded on all sides by blue sky.
It wasn’t comfortable but, by keeping moving and having toques under our helmets and gloves, long underwear and wool socks, we made it home and into the shower without incident.
Once snow becomes the norm, getting outside gets easier, especially if you’re a skier or snowshoer.
Precipitation in winter doesn’t usually get you quite as wet.
I’m hearing a lot of people lately who are getting excited about going out to play in the snow.
But, I guess I’d better stop it and get my snow tires on.
I can’t ignore it forever.
Let’s face it: Not everyone likes to exercise outside.
Some like to be able to wear warm-weather gear all year round.
The gym is a warm-weather environment where we can cycle, run, swim, row, walk, strength-train or take a class without having to layer up or worry about getting caught in a storm or slipping on the ice.
I’m seeing numbers increase in the gym as the fall weather settles in and transitions toward winter.
It was pretty quiet during our extended summer, but I guess it was asking too much for that to continue forever.
The strategies to regular exercise remain the same.
Schedule it into your life like any other important appointment.
Get enough sleep and nutritious food to maintain optimal energy.
Reduce or learn to process stress more effectively.
Learn to say no once in a while.
It’s easy to take on too much and sacrifice self-care.
Call a friend. Set up a social exercise session.
Whether you’re inside or out, you’ll get a chance to catch up and push each other through a workout you might not do alone.
Or, maybe you just need some quiet time away from everyone to ski or run with your own thoughts for company or some good music to keep you motivated.
It’s not always easy to fit exercise into a busy schedule on a regular basis, but once it’s there and you start feeling the benefits, it’s easier to keep going.
As the seasons change, try something new.
It might be just the ticket.
Shawn Wenger is a BCRPA-registered personal trainer and weight-training and group-fitness instructor. She runs Fitness For Mortals. E-mail email@example.com for information.