It's 5:30 p.m., and you're just finishing up at work. You push open the door and are ominously greeted by dark, dreary skies as a blast of cold, unapologetic air hits your face. Thoughts of making the most of your evening give way to a straight drive home, followed by swiftly changing into a sweatshirt and relaxing until it is time to rest.
Hello, winter. Goodbye, exercise.
Anyone adept at following fitness trends will tell you that exercise takes a back seat in the months of November and December, before those New Year's resolution hopefuls take aim at health clubs and gyms on January 1.
You could argue that the November and December months are devoid of avid exercisers simply due to holiday and party planning and shopping during easily the two most hectic months of the year as far as getting together with family and friends.
While that is true to some extent, it's hard not to underplay the importance of a real roadblock when it comes to fitness in the winter: cold weather. The combination of blustery, frigid temperatures and the sun setting before you leave work is one that really has an adverse effect on exercise, especially if you attempt to leave work, go home first and then try to leave again to hit the weights.
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It was bad enough bundling up from your office to the car, so why would you want to go through that process again just to get a workout in? Most settle for assuring themselves that they'll go tomorrow, and "tomorrow" usually turns into January by the time that urge starts to hit them again.
And even January is hardly a guarantee. The last time you checked, that month is pretty chilly and snowy, too.
An easy way to help your exercise cause is packing a gym bag and bringing it with you to work. This eliminates any thoughts or notions about going home first. Once you walk through your front door and feel that initial blast of warm air, you've already lost the battle.
You're officially staying put.
Colder temperatures and gloomy weather also is linked to feelings of lethargy and fatigue, so it's equally important to beef up on your supplements and sunlight. The latter might be a little tricky in the winter, but a Vitamin D supplement would go a long way toward accomplishing that feat. USANA sports a nice array of supplements on their website for not only your Vitamin D needs but pretty much anything else that can keep you motivated to move past your couch.
Feeling flummoxed or exhaustion also is a sure fire way to compromise your immune system and thus open yourself up to colds and the flu. Zinc helps stave off the common cold, and if you even have an inkling you're about to get sick, Cold-EEZE comes to the rescue. This lozenge includes Zinc and Echinacea, which helps invigorate your immune system.
Dr. David Sack, M.D., is the CEO of Promises Treatment Center and recommends something rather simple for staying healthy and motivated in the winter so that you don't miss even a minute of your workout session: a mental refresher. Just sit back and relax for a few minutes each day to help relax. Stress is the number one reason your immune system starts to waiver and thus make you more susceptible to getting sick. And no one is going to be hitting the gym when they're running a fever or can't stop coughing.
Incorporating an exercise program is hard enough, but the woes of winter undoubtedly works against you as far as sustaining said workout regimen. Combating the cold temps and equally chilly reception you have toward exercising in these months isn't easy and takes plenty of motivation on your part.
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