The colder months are here and that means it’s time to start thinking about how to keep up your activity level throughout the winter season. Since so many valley residents make the most out of winter activities, it’s not only important to maintain your fitness level so that you can continue partaking in the snowy sports you like, but it’s also important to keep up the habit of exercising. If that habit gets left on the back burner, it’s going to be tricky to pick it up again when the snow starts to melt!
For those who are looking to move their workouts inside, there are several ways to keep your program interesting. If you are working out in your home and have minimal equipment, focus on body weight exercises. No matter what your current fitness level is, you can always find a suitable modification that will ensure that you stay challenged. For example, some may find squats to be challenging, while others may need to turn to one-legged squats or jump squats. The same is true for push-ups, planks, or lunges.
There are several different ways to do each of these exercises; it’s just a matter of finding which one is suitable for your level. You never want to over challenge yourself, but rather push yourself just slightly outside of your comfort zone. That way you will build strength and proper form, allowing yourself to move up to the next level over time. It’s always best to start small then work your way up; this will help in avoiding injuries. If working out alone is not your style, try out a group fitness class. There are a variety of different classes offered throughout the valley ranging from 30 to 60 minutes including Ski-Fit, Metabolic Training, Yoga, Bootcamps, and Spin classes, just to name a few. Each of these will get your heart pumping and help build strength and endurance.
For those who are looking to continue exercising in the great outdoors, there are a few things to keep in mind as the season changes. Since snow and ice are major factors to take into consideration. If you’re a runner, consider wearing appropriate footwear including shoes with a good tread and socks that have wicking properties. If you’re feet aren’t happy, you won’t be either!
As far as clothing is concerned, your best bet is to dress in layers. By doing so, you’ll be able to better control body temperatures as you start to warm up or cool down. Start by wearing a wicking fabric shirt as your base layer. You’ll want to avoid cotton because once it gets wet it takes a long time to dry, and as a result, will also keep you cold. A toque and mitts or gloves are always good choices and can easily be stuffed into a pocket when no longer needed. For your outer layer, make sure it is either bright in colour or has some visible reflector strips. The daylight hours are getting shorter which means you are more likely going to be exercising in the dark from time to time so make sure others can see you. Last but not least, make sure someone knows that you’re heading out to get some exercise or better yet, bring a friend along! The more prepared you are, the more likely you are going to enjoy exercising outside.
Hayley (250-688-0024) and Kate (250-688-0221) are certified personal trainers with Fitness 4 Life. Visit their website at www.fitness4life.tv for rates and specials.