Embrace exercising this winter

Minnesota is a great place to live if you love change in your weather. We all have our favorites as far as the seasons go, but many struggle to stay active in the colder months. It doesn’t have to be this way. Winter climates offer plenty of options to stay active and stay fit.

  • The year-round option. Let’s start with the most obvious — a gym membership. Minnesota is often considered a hot-spot for workout facilities because in the winter months, many people feel they have no other choice. The gym does offer the most consistent variety of exercise. Whether it’s cardio, weight lifting, swimming, yoga or other classes, most gyms offer a good variety. Contact one of our coaches for a list of clubs in the area.
  • Be one with nature. Depending on what kind of winter we’re having, Minnesota also offers snowshoeing as a great form of exercise. It does require an initial investment, but serves as a great way to get out and see nature during a very picturesque time of the year. Cross country skiing is another popular choice.
  • Through the ups and downs. We also have our fair share of hills and ski slopes that can make for a great day of getting some incline walking in. Even if you take the ski lift back up, you are likely to get a fair amount of steps in and keep your heart rate elevated when participating in the activity. Not to mention the core exercise you get balancing all the way down.
  • Walk this way. Also, it is still an option to go outside and enjoy walks, whether it be with a pet, a friend or a neighbor. Don’t forget what opportunity the mall provides — a perfect place to put some miles on the shoes on blistery or icy days. Your local community education may offer a flat fee for a “yearly membership” to walk at a school. For a very minimal fee, “members” can participate at different area schools at a variety of times and walk the halls, where they can stay warm and often enjoy seeing student’s art projects.

Whatever your activity of choice is, just remember that consistency throughout the year is important. Don’t use the weather as an excuse to fall out of shape and lose all the progress you worked hard for over the summer months. Instead, embrace the weather and use it to add some variety.

Dustin Henkelman, Exercise Coach
CentraCare Weight Management