Does the cold weather stop you in your tracks? Maybe not if you are a winter sports enthusiast, but what if you aren’t? Maintaining your fitness goals can be challenging when you’re shoveling snow to get out of your driveway – or even to get into your car. But remember: shoveling snow is exercise!
If you’re someone who goes into hibernation with the bears during winter, I’m here to offer some tips that will help you stay motivated throughout the colder, darker months.
Tip #1: Plan ahead. John Wooden, a member of Basketball Hall of Fame, once said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Winter months require a little more effort, so planning ahead based on weather conditions may help maintain motivation.
Tip #2: Dress for success. Like summer, winter offers an array of exercise choices, but may require an extra layer of clothing.
Tip #3: Make it fun. Pull out the Yaktraks, snowshoes, or cross country skis. Consider inviting a friend. It also helps to make a game plan for each day in an effort to maximize time spent doing an activity or workout. Even in the snow, you’ll find exposed rocks that can be used as exercise platforms! Get creative and make nature your snowy playground.
Tip #4: Keep your workouts outside. Tahoe offers many blue sky days even in the winter. More and more evidence suggests exercising outside has more health benefits than indoor activity. In a 2017 study published in the ACSM Health & Fitness Journal, Kelsey Brown and Dixie Stanforth found that “green exercise” or exercising outside leads to “increased exercise enjoyment” and “stronger exercise adherence.”
Tip #5: Make a commitment to yourself and keep it. You only let yourself down when you skip a workout. Maintaining a level of fitness takes a lot of work and does not always come easy. Keep that in mind when you feel like skipping a workout on that cold, blustery winter day. The hardest part of any workout is simply getting there. Show up!
Kristi Jouett is a certified fitness instructor with Tahoe Fit, a partnership between Barton Health and Lake Tahoe Community College offering a variety of daily fitness classes around South Lake Tahoe.