How to adjust your workout routine with the change of the seasons – by Marie Morache

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on Sep 30, 2011 in Articles
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I know for many of us fall is the precursor to winter, and winter brings… diminished exercise. Usually this is accompanied by guilt, discouragement at unmet goals, and reduced energy spiraling into a pit of darkness (with rain or snow falling in the background). Or, if you have adjusted your workout routine indoors it can quickly turn to boredom at monotonous routines with limited exercise options.

With a little planning and creativity your workout routine does not have to suffer from the changes of the seasons. In fact, it can be a fresh challenge and you can learn to embrace what each season has to offer.

A few ideas to adjust your workout routine:

  1. Make a list of indoor and outdoor exercises you enjoy. This may sound really simple, but often when the time comes for us to exercise we stick to what we know. And if what we know included nice sunny days we can be discouraged when it’s dreary outside. Ultimately this can lead to skipping a workout. By making a list of indoor and outdoor exercises you can be prepared for whatever day shows up. If you wake up and its nice out, go to your list and take advantage of the nice day. If the next day its rainy, go to the list of indoor exercises. Not only will you be able to mix up your time indoors and outdoors, but you can broaden your range of workouts. This will keep it fresh and exciting. If you are more the spontaneous type, cut out each individual exercise and put them in two jars (labeled ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’). Depending on the day, pull out an exercise from your jar. It will be a fun surprise and will create anticipation for what each day will bring!
  2. Layer up. When it starts to get cooler, we begin to spend less time outdoors. While its more comforting staying inside, we can easily get cabin fever, which can lead to decreased motivation for exercise. The truth is once you get your heart rate going; your body will warm up. So begin your routine with layers such as long underwear and a jacket.  Also consider a hat and gloves to keep your head and hands warm. You will be amazed at how starting your routine layered and warm will help your desire to continue to incorporate outdoor exercise. Plus the fresh air will help with the cabin fever as well! So layer up, and get moving!
  3. Consider exercises that fits with the season. Embrace what each season has to offer by finding exercise that fits. Fall offers beautiful leaves and smells, so go for a walk around your neighborhood, find a new neighborhood that intrigues you, or find a trail that will show off those beautiful fall colors. If you’ve never tried it, horseback riding is a great new adventure for seeing fall beauty. Doing work outdoors, such as raking leaves
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    can be a great workout and allows you to enjoy the leaves. Corn mazes and pumpkin patches are in full season. Walking through the corn maze and around a pumpkin patch can get you out and moving, and having fun at the same time.  For those who live near snow, winter can be a great opportunity to go cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Ice skating and sledding are other great activities that are easy to incorporate with your kids. So, have fun and think about the great options available with each passing season.
  4. Take a new class. Another way to vary your exercise routine is to sign up for a class. This can get you out of the house without braving the outdoors. There are a plethora of class options out there: dance, boxing, martial arts, pilates, aerobics and more! Not only will you try a new workout routine, but you will meet new people as well. Or, spice up your date night by going ballroom dancing with your husband! Look up class offerings at a local gym, YMCA or community center or Google class offerings in your area.
  5. Try your stroke at indoor swimming. Finding a local indoor pool can be a great option for enduring the fall and winter months. It’s also a fun outing with the kids. Pools offer swim lessons, family swim, public swim and lap swim times. Local parks and Rec websites offer great information on local indoor pools.  (If you live in the Seattle area, check out http://www.seattle.gov/parks/pools.asp)

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