As we go from season to season, climate changes occur in the majority of the United States. Winter months may bring piercing winds and white flurries, increased rainfall or just cooler temperatures. Outdoor activities may decrease while unwanted body weight may increase. In the summer months, increased heat and humidity can have similar consequences. However, this does not have to be the case! Try some of the following activities, along with healthy tips and tricks, to stay fit year round, regardless of the weather forecast.
- Indoor Rock Climbing: An indoor climbing gym provides a great opportunity to not only work on your physical fitness, but to also have a good time. Get a group of friends together and buy a monthly pass so you can go anytime you want.
- Karate: Admit it, ever since you saw Karate Kid you have secretly wanted to be able to kick some bad guy butt and crack some boards in half. Sign up for an adult karate class and learn a new skill.
- Dance Classes: There are a variety of dance classes available from ballet and modern dance to salsa and ballroom. Many community centers even provide classes for cheap followed by an hour of open floor dancing. So get your cha-cha on while also burning some extra calories.
- Gym: While a little cliché, this option does provide you with various pieces of cardio equipment, weight machines, and different classes to keep your fitness level up all year. They tend to have reasonable hours, making the priority of staying fit easy to work into your schedule.
- Swimming: If you are worried about getting a good workout without putting pressure on your joints, swimming is your calling. As suggested here, some public pools even have year-long passes or family packages you can purchase to save your family some money.
- Workout DVDs: Workout DVDs are available for a whole spectrum of exercises. They allow you to make the most out of your living room, while also saving time since you cut out travel time.
- Yoga/Pilates: The practices of yoga and pilates are a great way to build strength and flexibility while also being low impact. Practice these in your own home or at a studio where an instructor can help you learn proper form.
- Barre: A workout that has been making waves in the U.S., barre takes your workouts to the next level, testing your ability to use your own body weight to build strength.
- Portion control: All the workouts in the world will not help you stay fit if you are eating too much food – even if it is healthy food! Learn healthy portion sizes for each food group and then listen to your body and stop eating when you are full.
- Invest in Outdoor Workout Gear: If your town gets cold and snowy, buy gear that will allow you to keep you warm as you exercise. Longer pants, long sleeve tops and jackets, gloves and headbands will make an outdoor workout a lot more bearable than you may think!
- Adjust Your Physical Activity to the Climate: As the weather changes throughout the year, adjust your activities to fit the season. Learn snow sports in the winter and try hiking or paddle boarding in summer.
- Change from Whole to Low/Non-fat Products: Small changes in your nutrition can help you stay fit when your physical activity may decrease. Try using low or non-fat products to cut some unnecessary fat and calories from your diet.
- Drink More Water: It is recommended we drink at least eight glasses of water per day, more if you are exercising regularly. Be sure to also consume fewer sugary drinks, such as sodas, juices, and energy drinks.
- Plan Active Vacations: Throughout the year, take advantage of vacations when you can walk or bike to see the sites, take part in regional activities, and get a little extra exercise while you are out and about.
- Get a Workout Buddy: As you strive to stay active, motivation can easily wane from time to time. Find yourself a workout buddy that will keep you motivated, regardless of holidays, time of year, or change in weather.
- Practice Stress Relief: It is true stress can cause your body to produce hormones that in turn lead to retaining of unwanted weight. Find time each day to practice meditation or breathing exercises to reduce stress. Don’t forget to also pamper yourself from time to time with a nice massage or pedicure!
- Take Breaks at Work: Sitting for hours at a time can be detrimental to your health and fitness. Take regular breaks at work to stretch, go for a quick walk around the building or up and down the stairs to add a little more exercise to your day.
- Get Plenty of Sleep: Sleep is what allows the mind and body to rejuvenate and heal itself. If you are not getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, you may see your fitness levels decrease over time.
- Take Advantage of Seasonal Chores: Put all of your effort into snow removal, clipping trees and hedges and mowing the lawn. Regardless of your climate, there is always outdoor housework that can work up a good sweat.
- Sign Up for an Event: Whether it is a half marathon, a triathlon, a 5k or a dance competition, sign up for an event that will require you to train. This will provide motivation and incentive to stay fit as you prepare for each upcoming event.
Change in climate can hurt your fitness levels but only if you allow it to do so. There are many ways to add activity to your life and keep your nutrition in check so you can stay fit year round no matter where you are.
Author: Alyssa Craig