As was recovering from a bad sinus infection, I was reading the latest news about the weather in the USA, especially the midwest and the northeast.
The North has been pounded with snow and it’s been very cold there.
I’m blessed to live in Florida, so winters are mild here, although I don’t particularly enjoy the hot, humid summers. But I can definitively deal better with the heat than with the cold, especially since I grew up in the Caribbean.
I remember the four years I spent in Albany, NY during my residency training, and another 3 1/2 years I spent in Milwaukee, WI doing additional sub-specialty training.
Those were 7 1/2 years of cold temperatures and tons of snow, but those years seem nothing compared to the amount of snow and cold weather they have had to deal with this year.
This winter weather reminded me how difficult is to get motivated to do any type of exercise when it’s so cold and all you want is to go home and get under a blanket. Especially after scraping ice and the snow off your car and shoveling your driveway.
Having to shovel your way out to drive your car to the gym, sounds like mission impossible.
Not only we don’t feel like getting out on the cold weather to exercise, but on these cold days, we tend to eat more comfort food. We feel so miserable with the damn cold that we have to comfort ourselves somehow, right?
I hear you…
So how do you stay healthy during this period?
Chances are, not only you are finding it hard to lose weight in the winter, but you probably gained a few pounds during the Holidays as well.
First of all, I would recommend that you get a few pieces of exercise equipment, so you can exercise at home. You don’t have to spend too much, a few dumbbells, an exercise mat, and an exercise ball will probably be all you need. If you already have a treadmill at home that would be a plus.
You want to keep doing some level of activity even if you are not able to make it to the gym.
Here are a few benefits of exercising at home:
- not having to drive to the gym therefore not having to shovel the snow from your driveway, get in a cold car, or wait for it to warm up
- not having to wait for someone to be done with the weights or a piece of exercise equipment at the gym
- at home, you can listen to the music you want
- you’ll save time when exercising at home because you don’t have to think much about what you are going to wear. If you are exercising at home you can wear anything that’s comfortable and just keep going
- you save time because you don’t have to get in and out of the car, get stuck in traffic, find a parking spot, etc.
Not everybody feels motivated to exercise at home. Some people feel the need to be around others who are already exercising. If that’s you, not all is lost.
A few tips to get motivated to exercise at the gym during the cold weather:
- pack your belongings, your exercise clothes and shoes the day before and put them in your car
- go the gym on your way home, don’t go home and then to the gym, if you do it that way, chances are when you get home you are going to find it very difficult to go back out
- find an exercise buddy, someone that will keep you motivated and will make you accountable
- get a personal trainer to work with you at the gym, to whom you can be accountable to
- have a protein bar or a protein shake at hand so you can calm your hunger until you finish exercising and can make it home. The worst thing you could do is go to exercise and then on you way home stop at a fast food restaurant because you’re starving.
Hard to lose weight in the winter, it doesn’t have to be that way…
Dr. Mayra Alfonso