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Too Cold To Exercise?

I grew up in Southern Louisiana. I saw snow for the first time when I was in eighth grade (that was a lot of years ago!) I remember being so scared to go outside. The cars were sliding on the roads and everyone was having trouble walking on the sidewalks. Since it rarely snowed we didn’t have the equipment or other resources needed to function with snow on the ground. By the end of the day the snow was gone and life could go back to normal for a winter day in the south. For the last 15 years I have lived in central Illinois. There is snow during winter and it gets really cold before winter officially starts. When I lived in Louisiana I never thought about planning outside activities because winter was usually a low temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I could exercise all year outside if I wanted to. Now that I live in a climate that sometimes has negative wind chills, I have to plan any exercise accordingly.

Let’s face it, who wants to get out of a warm bed when it’s bitterly cold outside and do a morning workout? Why would you get up, pack a bag to go to the gym or even exercise in your home? It’s dark and gloomy outside. Even if you decide to exercise later in the day, it’s still dark outside. How do you motivate yourself to keep moving during winter? Here are some things I did on my weight loss journey to stay as active as possible during winter.

Plan your workouts: This is something you should do whether it’s winter or not. We have the capability of knowing the weather forecast several days ahead. Check the weather reports to see if snow or extreme cold is forecasted. Even if you go to a gym, the weather may be so bad you will not be able to travel and be homebound for a few days. Make a plan and write it down.

Make your own exercise area in your home: If you have the space to do so, have an area in your home designated as your exercise area. I have an area I keep cleared especially during the winter as my exercise area. Even if your exercise will be indoor walking, this is your space.

Invest in exercise DVD’s or search the internet for free exercise videos: You can buy DVD’s for relatively cheap today. You can also download exercises on demand on digital devices. YouTube is a great place to get free workouts. (Check if data charges may be charged for watching videos on your digital device). You can do a search for indoor walking plans or indoor weight training. There are also videos on YouTube for spin classes. You can also plan your own workouts if you want to.

Try to stay active during the winter months: One of my goals during the beginning of 2015 was to go out and participate in activities in my community during the winter months. This was very challenging because we had wind chills reaching -20 degrees Fahrenheit. I went to events sponsored by my local library during the coldest month January. I was so glad I went instead of staying home because I learned about a variety of topics. The main thing I gained was the satisfaction of knowing I was remaining active despite the extreme cold temperatures.

By the end of winter I was down five pounds. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but it was a victory for me because I had always gained weight during the winter. Get rid of the thought that because its winter that means you will automatically gain weight. Instead of focusing on losing weight, why not focus on trying to be as active as possible. Be safe if you decide to go outside and exercise. Wear the appropriate clothing and check weather reports. Most important of all, always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

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