Most people don’t like to go outdoors during the winter months, and instead of remaining active, almost go into a human form of hibernation. This is the time of year when weight gain is a real issue, as those who are out biking or throwing a frisbee around during the summer, call it a year and watch television by the fireplace. A lot of people eat more as well, and along with sitting on the couch, this is a guaranteed way to get a few more rings around the belly. It’s going to take extra energy to motivate yourself to get outdoors, and to remain physically fit during January and February. Yet its essential to use this time productively, and while you might not be out on the tennis courts in your skimpy shorts, there are a variety of activities that you can do. You don’t even have to leave your house, but if you want to stay active, it would make sense to consider a couple of activities.
If you are getting cabin fever, by being stuck inside a snowed in house, consider getting on a treadmill. I love the one that I purchased, and they are becoming much cheaper than they used to be. You can easily get one for around $500, that has monitors, different speeds, and a Ipod connection. It’s so easy to go walking for a few miles on a treadmill, in the comfort of your own heated home. If you want to burn some serious calories, try one of the “incline workouts.” Start out gradually, as “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” If you have some free weights, consider pumping some iron. In addition to gaining muscle mass, you can burn a decent amount of calories this way.
There are other indoor workout systems, and a lot of people like Wii’s Fit. This is a workout program with your video console, that a lot of people have lost weight with. Being indoors is okay for some, but you can stay warm while out skiing. That’s right, unless its frigid on any given day, you can generally ski with a long sleeve shirt and ski pants. Its a lot of fun, burns calories with side to side movements, and you can sweat easily enough out on the slopes. Plus, even if its cold, as long as you dress appropriately, there shouldn’t be any real suffering. Plus, you can always take a break at the heated lodge, or one of the dining areas at the larger resorts. Just remember to eat responsibly!
My favorite way to stay fit during the winter, is to go hunting. A lot of people won’t enjoy this activity, but I’ve found tracking deer to be a fine way to keep in shape. You can burn thousands of calories a day in the deep forest, and it’s been a proven way to keep yourself physically fit. If hunting isn’t for you, you could still go “tracking” animals, by looking for footprints and other markings. Pheasant hunting is done during the cold months, and by following the pointing/flushing dogs, you can get rid of that beer belly in a couple of days.
Winter is an extra challenge for many. However, these activities should at least allow you to keep your BMI at a reasonable rate. After Thanksgiving and Christmas, remember to consider increasing your workouts, due to holiday meals putting on several pounds of weight. Its up to you to stay in shape, and as long as you dress appropriately for frigid weather, you should be able to get in a couple hours of hiking or hunting. Plus, skiing offers so many places to get warmed up, so there’s no excuse to sit on the couch. Winter may not have the variety of summer sports offerings, but there are plenty of ways to get in gear, and make that seasonal belly a problem of the past.