Find Ways to Stride Toward Better Fitness

February 21, 2012

Winter in Michigan can make outdoor exercise challenging. But, there are many ways to maintain your exercise routine and avoid winter weight gain. Here are a few tips to get you going this winter, provided by Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital’s coordinator of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Weight Management Program, Rhonda Guyer, M.S., C.E.S.

For a safer exercise routine, walk indoors. Most malls open early specifically for walking. Also, check with your community’s parks and recreation office. Some municipalities allow walking in schools, and some have indoor tracks at community centers or recreation buildings. These options are usually free or available for a small fee.

Consider joining a fitness facility — just for the winter. Many offer a month-to-month option instead of a long-term commitment. Another benefit of joining a fitness facility is being able to try something new to spice up your exercise routine, such as kickboxing, weight-training, yoga or water aerobics.

Look into joining the employee wellness center at your workplace — if this option is available. This is often free for employees and you can fit in your exercise before or after your workday, or during lunch breaks.

If you plan to exercise outside, take precautions. Pay attention to temperatures and wind chill — walking into a strong wind makes your exercise harder and can take your breath away. Be sure to dress in layers; cover your ears, nose and mouth; and wear an undergarment that will “wick” the moisture away from your skin.