When Winter Chill Zaps Your Exercise Routine

bigstock-Flu-25455731Do you live in an area that has winter?

That may sound like a silly question, but I spent over 20 years on southern California beaches.

Our idea of winter was temperatures in the 40s.

As a walker, winter at the beach was a favorite of mine.

  • No summer crowds
  • The ocean churns more waves
  • The wind whips you into high gear

Then I moved to Idaho.

Idaho reintroduced me to the true meaning of winter.

Cold Girl Walking

Boise, Idaho winter temperatures often hit the teens – or lower. My daily 5 to 6-mile walks are seriously hampered.

I can handle temperatures in the 40s; however, when the outside temperature hits the 30s or lower, I want to crawl inside and hibernate.

It is especially tempting when I return from my annual 60 mile, 3-Day Walk for the Cure that takes place in San Diego in November.

Needless to say, going from 60 miles to 0 is not the best way to stay in shape. So, I have experimented with a few changes to my routine.

Warming Up

The following are a few alternatives I’ve tried during the winter months.

1. Mall-walking

I admit I am not a huge fan of this alternative. Too boring.

Replacing an hour and a half to two hours of outdoor walking with mall-walking is like putting an animal in a cage with a hamster wheel.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been much of a shopper and window-shopping doesn’t do it for me. But, that doesn’t mean this couldn’t work for you.

2. Cardio tapes

I’ve always wished I could be a fabulous dancer.

My Cardio Fit, fat-burning dance routines prove how big a dream that really is. Fortunately, no one is there to see me – and mirrors are definitely banned.

I think I can rule out a call from Dancing With the Stars.

Despite my ineptness, I do enjoy torturing myself this way.

3. Stair-stepping

Who needs fancy gyms?

There is a step down into my office. I turn on the TV that is right next to the step, and start in on a fast-paced stair-stepping routine.

It’s a race to see who yells Uncle first – my boomer knees or my hammered lungs.

4. Layer upon layer

Lest you think I am a total wimp (which is probably not too far off the mark), I do try layering to continue my winter walks.

Nothing (for me) beats outdoor walking, so I valiantly attempt to keep at it.

Remember when you were a kid and your mom had to drag you inside – even in the winter months? Heck, I used to play under a pine tree with branches dipping under the weight of snow to enclose me in my own personal igloo.

Where did that little girl go? Oh yeah, southern California beaches.

5. The road to nowhere

I have even tried walking in place. You think mall-walking is boring.

But, once again, the TV adds mindless entertainment. So, instead of the couch potato position, I watch shows while marching in place.

It’s the poor person membership.

Better Alternatives?

I am open to all ideas.

I warn you, I hate toe-touching, lunging, leaping calisthenics. I have to fool my body into thinking it is having fun. No matter how ridiculous I may appear.

What alternatives do you use when winter chills your exercise routine? Leave your helpful hints in Comments.

And if you are one of those beach-living individuals – stop your smirking.


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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.

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