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Five Tips to Stay Active During Winter

By Liberty Hospital

With the new year comes all those resolutions to lose weight and get fit. Choices abound from gyms to diet plans to home treadmills. But the bottom line is to find what works best for you — and your family — and stick with it, said Strength and Conditioning Coach Adam Long, M.S., CSCS, of Liberty Hospital Sports Medicine.

“Most people know the basics of living a healthier lifestyle,” Long said. “It is just a matter of practicing it and being consistent.”

Those fitness basics include proper warm-up/stretching, strength training, cardiovascular endurance/conditioning and a healthy diet. Long recommended doing research before making a choice about group classes or a personal trainer.

“Group exercise can be a fun way to exercise,” he said. “A class can help keep you accountable and give you that team feeling of accomplishment. Depending on the class, make sure to contact the instructor to set up an evaluation before you sign up and make sure you understand the level of difficulty of the class before you start.”

When thinking about hiring a personal trainer, consider the trainer’s education and experience. “Meet with the fitness professional beforehand to make sure it is a good fit for you,” he said. “You must be ready to take personal responsibility in the overall program of diet and exercise because you only will be with that trainer typically three hours a week. That means you will be on your own for 165 hours per week.”

Long said the winter weather is no excuse to become inactive. He offered the following five tips to keep you and your family active until spring arrives:

  1. Join a gym. “Being a member of a gym means you cannot use the weather outside as an excuse not to exercise,” he said. “Take advantage of the new year deals to join one.”
  2. Invest in a home gym. “If joining a gym is not an option, save up for exercise equipment to purchase,” he said. “You will find a lot of slightly used exercise equipment on online resale sites.”
  3. Play a game or use a fitness DVD. “Many game systems offer exercise programs to do as a family,” Long said. “There are a lot of exercise DVDs that require very little equipment.”
  4. Dress warm. “Don’t let the cold keep you from exercising,” he encouraged. “Put on extra layers, perform a warm-up at home inside and then go out for a brisk walk or jog, but be careful to watch for ice.”
  5. Eat a nutritious diet. “A nutritious diet is always important, but even more so if exercise in the winter has been minimal,” he said.
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