09 Dec Stay Strong: How to Keep Your Health and Fitness Up this Winter
When the temperature drops below freezing and it seems like you have errands, parties and commitments every night of the week, how do you stay on top of your health and fitness goals? The dreary and busy winter months present this struggle we all face, but there always ways to incorporate fitness into your life. Try these tips to keep you fitness going strong into spring!
Seek Refuge from the Weather with Indoor Fitness
No one wants to layer up and run in the snow or play tennis on an icy court. Winter is the time of year when the gym is truly your friend. If the idea of running on treadmill already makes you yawn, think outside your normal routine.
Gyms in Alexandria like Mount Vernon Athletic Club offer tons of group fitness classes to keep you on your toes, plus Fitness On Demand makes classes available on your schedule.
Then there is the personal training route. Working with a personal trainer offers so many benefits, especially when the chilly season forces you to change up your usual workout. A trainer can guide in you in modified or new exercises, help you with your form to make sure you don’t get injured, and change up your gym routine to keep your muscles guessing and the calories burning. Plus, you’ll have a whole new arsenal of workout ideas to pull from even when the weather is perfect.
Pump Up the Cardio with Indoor Tennis
Whether you’re an avid USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis player or an amateur who likes the amped up cardio that a good game can provide, you’ll undoubtedly beat the winter fitness blues when you work out on indoor tennis courts. Some fitness clubs like MTVAC offer cardio tennis – a group fitness class that focuses on moves relevant to playing tennis. Not only is this a great workout, but it can hone in on some key skills to improve your tennis game.
And if you’re not already a tennis club member, consider signing up and taking advantage of the perks, like tournaments, easy to find partners and social events. We all know we’re more likely to stay fit if fitness is fun! Try a FREE 7-day tennis trial!
Health and Fitness = Workout Anywhere
So you have meetings to prepare for and presents to buy and dinner to make – i.e. no time to hit the gym. What can you do? A lot, actually. Try taking the stairs as often as possible when at work or in parking garages. If you have stairs in your home, make more trips between levels and pump up your pace to get some mini intervals in. When you’re at a department store, grocery store or mall, do a couple extra loops through some areas and step it up to a speed walk.
Want to spend some extra time with the family and get everyone’s fitness in shape? Try cross-country skiing! Not only is this winter sport an awesome full-body cardio workout (500-900 calories/hour, depending on pace), it also helps to build up endurance and strength. A great weekend activity that takes full advantage of the season – and gets you ready for your springtime activities!
Watch What You Eat
Of course, no health and fitness plan is complete without a nutrition component. What you eat and how much plays just as important of a role in your health as your workout regime. The winter can be filled with warm, hearty casseroles, soups, starches and celebratory beverages. Instead of making certain treats off limits, enjoy small portions. Try to introduce healthier options too, like using skim milk in mashed potatoes and lattes, or bring hummus and veggies to a potluck. And be sure to balance your eating habits with your workout habits. If you can’t workout as much as you are used to, you’ll simply have to adjust what you eat to keep up with your goals.
Staying strong through the winter is pretty simple, you just have to make health and fitness a priority and get creative!