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Tis' the Season, How to Winterize Your Workout

Tis' the Season, How to Winterize Your Workout

Don’t Let Your Fitness Routine Hibernate

SILVER SPRING, MD – December 9, 2014 – The arrival of cold weather doesn’t mark the end of your exercise program.  It simply signals the time to transition into something different, activity wise.  In a recent edition of the Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), the topic of the importance of exercising in the winter was discussed.

Maggie Rectenbaugh, an exercise specialist, noted that “the shorter, colder days and lack of sunlight in the winter months have a tendency to make us live a more dormant lifestyle,” but that doesn’t have to be your way of life.  You have the power to choose a different approach to surviving and thriving in the winter.

A similar story, written by registered dietician/health counselor Timi Gustafson, in a recent edition of the Huffington Post echoed the same message.

Rectenbaugh emphasized some key points in the story which are worth incorporating into your winter workouts:

  1. Make time at the gym a personal priority.  It should be a part of your daily routine.
  2. Diversify your indoor winter workouts.  Play basketball, do calisthenics, try water aerobics.
  3. Circuit training is a great fitness choice.  It will help build your cardio and strength.

The Huffington Post story also reported on the work of scientists at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, in cooperation with colleagues from the Witten/Herdecke University in Witten, Germany, who discovered that “when people move less, their mood also changes, and not for the better.”  This same German-Canadian study also uncovered that “prolonged lack of physical activity can lead to occurrences of negative emotions, including bouts of depression.”

Exercise physiologist and fitness advisor Tom Holland, MS, CSCS (Darien, CT), has some advice for how to stay active and in shape during the winter months:

  1. Pick a Spring Event Goal: Having a specific event to train for like a 5K or a charity bike ride will give you purpose and added motivation to train through the difficult winter months
  2. Hire a Trainer: There is no better investment than your health. Give yourself the gift of a personal training package so you have someone to be accountable to for the next few months.
  3. Join a Group: There is incredible power in numbers when it comes to exercising, especially through the winter. Join a masters swim group, a spinning gym, a running group, or invite friends over to exercise a few times a week to give you a ‘training team.’
  4. Buy Home Exercise Equipment: Have you always dreamed of having an elliptical machine, or a home gym? Stop procrastinating and spend money on taking care of yourself. You need not spend a lot, either: A few sets of dumbbells, a stability ball, exercise mat and an assortment of exercise DVDs are all you need to get started.

"There is nothing you can do for your health that is more powerful than maintaining an active lifestyle,” says Dr. Tim Church, professor, Pennington Biomedical, Louisiana State University.

“Humans were meant to move and lack of movement leads to both physical and mental deterioration,” says Dr. James Hill, professor of pediatrics, medicine, physiology, and biophysics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  “Increasing physical activity should be high on our list of national priorities.”

Church and Hill are two nationally recognized doctors that have joined Doctors for a PHIT America and the PHIT America Alliance.  They are committed to our mission to create a ‘Movement for a Fit & Healthy America.’
“Just think of what exercise means -- better health, lower health care costs, longer lives, better academics for students, and much more,” says Cameron Jacobs, manager of social media and research for PHIT America.

“To help combat the ‘inactivity pandemic,’ PHIT America has a great resource on called Get Fit Here, which can help Americans get more active, fit and healthy in more than 50 different types of activities. This section of enables anybody to find sports, fitness, and exercise activities in their local area.  It is the ‘Yellow Pages’ of places to play or get fit.

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