If you're like me, summer is a great time for exercising and being active outdoors, including swimming, walking, hiking and biking. I love to be outside--especially when it's warm--and summer is simply glorious for that joyful purpose.
Winter is definitely not the bee's knees in terms of exercise for me, and I generally find myself at a loss in terms of getting motivated to reboot my exercise regimen with the coming of the cold weather. I don't ski, snowshoe or do winter sports like other people I know, and going to the gym is one of my least favorite things in the world, so what's a conscientious wellness-oriented person (who prefers to be outside) to do?
In terms of swimming, the few outdoor pools in Santa Fe close as of Labor Day weekend. (Even though we're in the desert, we're at 7,000 feet above sea level and the winters are cold, contrary to popular opinion!). Thus, sadly, my favorite form of outdoor exercise becomes a moot point until late May rolls around.
Luckily, I don't mind walking in the cold (until, of course, we dip into the teens on the coldest days of the year in January and the wild desert winds of March begin), so I do my best to bundle up, hiking and walking as much as I can.
Do you face this challenge as well? Or do you live in a place where it's warm all year 'round? Or perhaps you're a person who simply works out at the gym every month of the year, no matter what the weather brings? If so, good for you!
However, if doing this sort of winter exercise reboot is a challenge for you like it is for me, then how do you navigate this time of year without losing the gains that you made during the summer?
First, I assess my schedule to see what it will allow. Oftentimes, schedules change in the fall, so what worked in the summer won't necessarily work in the winter, especially if you have kids going back to school or a job that changes as the seasons change (schoolteacher, for example).
Next, I look at what my options are. Is there a new gym I'd like to check out? Are the indoor pool hours a convenient match with my work schedule and family responsibilities? Is there a friend, family member or neighbor who might like to be my accountability buddy and/or exercise partner? Are there winter teams or leagues that may be forming at my local community center (volleyball, pickup basketball, etc.), or are there ongoing fitness classes I could sign up for?
Whatever the case, rebooting your exercise and fitness regimen is often necessary with the change of seasons, especially when summer turns to winter. The challenge for all of us is figuring out what will work best.
None of us really like to lose the gains we made while we were getting in shape all summer. However, it's very easy to do just that if we don't make a plan and take inspired action.
So, what's your plan for the winter? How will you stay in shape? What will you do to keep the winter "bulge" from growing after your summer of fitness and fun?
Personally, I have to get down to business and come up with my own plan too, so let's get off the computer and start planning our winter regimen now!