Winter has made its presence known here in Utah and with the impending snow and ice taking away a lot of outdoor activities, many Utahns are concerned about maintaining a healthy body through the chillier months. However, this is no reason to panic. Along with its own set of unique challenges, the winter months also open up a variety of ways to stay in shape. Whether you are looking to get a jump start on next summer’s swimsuit season or just want to make it through this winter in the same condition you started in, try some of these suggestions to stay in shape and feel great.
I know what you are thinking, the gym is such a cliche suggestion for winter exercise. However, if you are looking for a place where you can keep up on your cardio while staying warm and dry, or you are looking to tone up, the gym is a great place to go. While protecting you from the elements, the gym provides access to many machines and resources you mostly likely do not have in your home. Don’t forget to take the following into account when looking for a gym to join.
- Equipment: Are you looking to have access to a certain machine or set of exercise equipment? Make sure the gym you join has what you need. Not all gyms are created equal.
- Classes: Is it important to you to have access to classes within your gym? Are the classes you want to take taught during a time of day that is conducive to your schedule?
- Child Care: If you require child care, does your gym provide the care as part of your membership or does it require an extra payment?
- Hours: While some gyms are open 24/7, the majority open and close on a regular schedule. Make sure their hours of operation work for you.
- Location: Weigh the pros and cons of the gym’s proximity either to your home or to areas of town you frequent while running errands or going to work. If it is already on your natural path, you are more likely to go regularly.
- Price: Gym prices can start as low as $10 per month and climb as amenities and services increase. Watch for holiday or New Year’s specials!
Classes and Teams
Exercise classes and sports teams are not just for kids. You can find studios that teach yoga, pilates, barre, karate and many forms of dance. There are also many city league sports teams available to join. Check your local community recreation center for basketball teams, soccer teams, as well as many exercise classes. Many community centers even have an indoor swimming pool which provides an excellent way to stay in shape year round. Learn more about swimming opportunities near you here.
At Home DVDs
One of the biggest challenges of a cold winter is the lack of motivation to leave the house. A warm, cozy home can be hard to leave! One great solution that allows you to stay in the comforts of your own home is to buy some great workout DVDs you can do right in your own living room. DVDs offer a variety of exercises, so you are not likely to get bored quickly, and can also help you save on time, since you do not have to take any travel time into account.
With the best snow on earth right in our backyard, embrace the winter and join in some winter sports! The options allow anyone from the most amatuer to the most exeperienced to get a great workout, while also having a great time. Try any (or all!) of the following this winter:
- Cross country skiing
- Ice Skating
- Ice Hockey
Be a Kid Again
Whether you have children of your own or not, you can embrace your inner child and find enjoyment in your own backyard. Go outside and build snowmen, igloos and make snow angels. You will be surprised by the sweat you can work up just by playing around outside. This is also a great way to spend time together as family or friends without having to spend any money!
Utah is beautiful in every season, but the winter months often lead to reduced fitness habits. Don’t let the winter months stop you from finding ways to enjoy a happy and healthy body year round.