Friday, January 4, 2008

Winter Fitness

This week in Pennsylvania it has been down right freezing outside. I get cold just walking from my car to the office in the morning -- I do park at the back of the lot to fit in a little bit of exercise, but it's still not that far! So I've been using that as an excuse not to walk this week. I did stop to get gloves tonight with the hope that keeping my fingers warm will let me get back on track. Thankfully, Science Daily has some tips for getting into shape without leaving that house.

Get a Fitness Assessment I honestly don't remember seeing anyone recommend getting a personal trainer to design an at-home fitness routine before. And as always, it is a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

Purchase the Right Equipment For any large purchases, I'd recommend renting the equipment first. A treadmill or eliptical might cost fifty dollars to rent per month, but if you stop using it after two months, you can return it instead of letting a large investment collect dust. For smaller purchases like resistance bands and jump ropes, just make sure you get something of quality and not a dollar store knock-off.

Be Creative Whenever I have to carry a gallon of water or tea in to the house, I take the opportunity to heft it about a bit. At eight pounds each, two in each hand is as good as fifteen pound weights.

Embrace the Outdoors It seems silly to have this on a list of tips how to get fit inside!

Maintain a Support System This is one of my biggest problems. When I don't exactly feel like exercising or eating right, I don't have anyone around me to remind me to do the right thing.

Change Up Your Routine One of my favorite things about using walking to exercise is that it can be different every time. Take a right instead of a left and you're discovering new things. A few weeks back, I found a one way road that leads to a dead end. I wonder how many people accidentally drive down it and then have to break the law to escape.

Realize that Weight Loss Won't Happen Overnight It's important to set realistic goals. You can only safely expect to lose one percent of your body weight per week. Anything beyond that is water or muscle weight, not fat.

I'll be doing my best to exercise this winter, but I can't wait for spring to come. There are a lot of places I want to walk and I also want to start the Couch-to-5K program.

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