Monday, November 24, 2003

Cold weather no excuse for idling

By Dave Patania
Personal trainer

Question: It is now early winter and I have already started to slack off of my exercise habits. When winter hits, I gradually do less and less. Yell at me or whatever, I need some motivation! What can I do?

Answer: First, tell yourself that this is going to be a much different winter season because you are not going to allow yourself to fall into the same mode of habits of the past. You can then back those words up by making a plan based on your schedule that will allow you to make positive changes for this winter season. Schedule times during the week that you can devote to your physical fitness and don't let anything stop you.

If you are really busy, get to bed 30-60 minutes earlier each night and get up earlier to walk or jog on the treadmill, a run around the neighborhood or take a quick jaunt to the gym before work. If you are a walker or runner and really want to maintain your conditioning levels, buy cold weather exercise gear and continue your activities.

Another idea is to join a gym for the winter months that is near your job or home. This will give you a place to sneak in a workout whenever you don't have a lot of time or it is dangerously cold or slick outside. Minneapolis has horrible winters, yet is one of the most physically fit cities in the country. With that in mind, there are no excuses this year, so make a plan to sneak in activity and exercise whenever you can.

Remember that you don't have to spend hours in the gym to get in great shape. It doesn't take a lot of time to get a great workout in and return home or to your job. You can sneak in a quick circuit of weights and cardio on your lunch break, or if you are a stay-at-home mom, you can grab the kids and take them to a family fitness center for a day of activity and fun.

Simply put, if you are focused on really staying active this winter you will do what is necessary to get the job done.

This winter: Dig deep, refuse to fall prey to bad habits of the past, consult with a fitness professional, always look for ways to add activity to your day and you will maintain and even increase your level of physical fitness. Also, remember to eat a healthy diet low in junk and processed foods.


Contact personal trainer Dave Patania by e-mail:

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