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Working Out in Cold Weather – In Good Health – Rochester Area Healthcare Newspaper

Working Out in Cold Weather

Experts recommend plenty of ways to get active in wintertime

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

The weather may be frightful, but don’t let this winter “go to waist.” Area experts recommend plenty of ways to get active and stay fit.

Tips from Mike Schuber, program manager, Rochester Regional Health Wellness Center:

• “Think about the reality. One goes from a heated house to a heated car to a heated building for work. Working out at the gym; running on a treadmill, taking a HIIT class, doing some yoga or even going to a mall and walking are all reasonable and healthy activities for the cold dark wintery days.

• “Embrace the season and get out and enjoy the outdoors. A critical part of winter outdoor exercise is dressing appropriately for the cold.

• “Think about taking a jog in the snow? Be sure to use rubber grippers on your shoes if it is icy and dress in layers.

• “Another great outdoor activity is snowshoeing or cross country skiing which can be done in the local county and town parks as well as on golf courses covered in snow. Of course, these activities take some equipment, but renting is always an option until you know for sure you like the sport.

• “Skating, snowboarding or downhill skiing are not for the faint of heart and do take a level of skill that you may not have.  Consider taking a ski lesson right at a commercial slope, or find a local group that helps you learn how to ski.

• “If you are not into winter sports, it doesn’t mean you can’t be active in the cold weather. How about what we all enjoyed as children such as building a snowman, having a snowball fight, building snow forts and of course sledding?

•” Keep your eye open for winter festivals as they always have exciting things to do and see as well.”

Tips from Joanne Wu, board certified integrative and holistic medicine and rehabilitation physician, who specializes in wellness.

• “I’m a big outdoorsy person, so I always coach people about getting outside. If it is a nice day, I tell people to ski, take hikes and snowshoe.

• “Ice skating is somewhat accessible.

• “Curling is something I talk with people about. Some are shy about it, but it’s a winter sport. You don’t have to be out in the elements — you can do it in an indoor ice skating rink — but it is a winter sport and it gets people active and together.

• “But if there’s a blizzard, you can stay active without going out. Indoors, try new things I don’t normally do when the weather is nice. Look up things exciting things like maybe rock climbing or indoor volleyball that are one-off of what you’d normally do.

• “In Rochester, a lot of gyms have American Ninja Warrior and climbing.

• “Try indoor leagues for soccer.”

Tips from Andy Cowan, fitness director and certified personal trainer at LeRoy Physical Therapy and Village Fitness in LeRoy.

• “Join a fitness facility. That way you’re inside.

• “Join a fitness class that keeps you interested and motivated.

• “We do a few different ‘boot camps’ like a cardio boot camp and a strength boot camp. People at first seem intimidated, but there’s times where you can choose your weights like a 5-pound weight instead of a 10. Or you can reduce the amount of reps. You can push yourself a little without overdoing it. Boot camps can be motivating as you see someone around your age doing or lifting more.”