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Staying Active in Colder Weather

Staying Active in Colder Weather

Bill Van Valer

I love Indiana.  I love that we have all four distinct (usually) seasons because each one brings its own joys.  The leaves and bonfires in the fall with friends, a cookout at the pool in the summer, all the sights and sounds of mother nature coming back to life in the spring, and the…(pause for effect and time to think about winter)…winter…the holidays are always fun the family, and we all get to make some new years resolutions.

OK, so I lied…I don’t love all four seasons, winter and I have a bit of a standoffish or cold relationship.  It messes with my routines and I can’t get outside as easily and do the stuff I love.  I have to plan more and certainly be more careful about just heading outside.

If you’re not into bundling up and heading out no matter the weather conditions, this is a great time of year to try something new.  That class at the YMCA that has always looked fun, you know, the one INSIDE you walk past on your way to the drinking fountain.  A set of resistance bands (you can get a whole set on Amazon for $30) and a quick google search for exercises can provide a myriad of opportunities to get your heart pumping without leaving your living room.

One of the things I really enjoy about getting outside in the winter, especially when there is snow involved, is the sense of adventure that comes with it.  Things you see every day look different.  With all the different sights and sounds that come with snow I feel as though I am on vacation for that hour that I am walking, hiking or running.  Last year during the first big snow I took a walk around my neighborhood (when I got done clearing my driveway, of course!) and it was one of my favorite and most memorable walks I have been on.  In my own neighborhood, that I’ve walked around thousands of times, but it was different.  And it was a real workout!  A foot of unplowed snow adds an element of challenge to a usually simple walk, adding to the physical effort and the sense of adventure.

If you are going to feed your adventurous spirit, the key is to do it safely.  Even though its cold, we all still need to stay hydrated while we exert energy.  It can be pretty easy to forget to drink water when you don’t feel hot.  The other big thing I always keep in mind when I set out on an adventure is traffic- people traffic, which I want so if anything happens I’m not stuck in the freezing cold, and car traffic, which I don’t want around me for obvious reasons.

There are still plenty of opportunities to get outside and remain active in the colder months, but there are also opportunities to move your activity sessions indoors.  Either way, we all know we feel better when we move, so don’t let Mother Nature keep us still through the winter.

I once had a coach tell me that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing decisions.  I think he was from somewhere in Florida…


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