“It’s hard to stay motivated in the winter. When temperatures plummet, the last thing we want to do is leave the comfort and warmth of our home. But winter is not a good excuse to give up our fitness routines,” said Kara Smith, personal trainer and special events coordinator at the Loyola Center for Fitness.
Here’s just a few ways to get out, exercise and have a good time in the winter:
Hockey or ice skating
Build a snowman
Shovel snow, but remember to lift with your legs, not your back and use a small shovel so you are not lifting too much weight.
Start a snowball fight, preferably with people you know.
Whatever you choose to do outdoors make sure your body is prepared for the weather:
Wear layers. This helps trap heat and will keep you warmer.
Wear a hat, gloves and scarf to limit the risk of frostbite.
Drink lots of water. Winter is a very dry time of year and your body needs the extra water to stay hydrated.
If you need more incentive, try these weight-maintenance tips to get you off the couch:
Keep a pair of summer shorts in the drawer and try them on every couple of weeks to make sure they still fit.
Find an exercise partner. Schedule time with a friend to exercise and get together for healthy potlucks and weigh-ins.
Find out what fruits and veggies are in season and discover new recipes you can share at the healthy potlucks.
Purchase a gym membership. Most fitness centers have promotions going on in January.
Try something new. Purchase a new fitness video you can do at home or start a new fitness activity to keep you going till spring.
Winter doesn’t last forever, so stop hibernating and get out and enjoy what the season has to offer.
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Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.