No Days Off
The excuses are plenty. It's snowing. It's cold out. I hate running on a treadmill. It doesn't matter. The biggest obstacle to staying in peak shape over the winter is too many distractions and too much avoidance. On average a person who works out regularly 3 times per week will only average 1 time per week in the gym between November and January. In January, they're back in and quickly out. We can't slack off. Make it a point to NOT MISS your workouts. And if you do, make it another point to MAKE THEM UP. You'll be thanking me two weeks out from that spring break time trip.
Cardio is Key
I dated this girl in college that played Division I lacrosse about 4 hours away from me. We started going out in October and we dated until the spring. Over the holidays, I skimped on cardiovascular training. I hit the weights, but "treadmill" was a dirty word in my vocabulary. When I went to see her in the spring, she noticed that I wasn't exactly "lean." Needless to say she ditched my not-doing-cardio behind. This is one of the worst looks that comes from a no-cardio winter...big, boxy, and bulky. To stay lean over the cold months, make sure you work in at least 30 minutes of cardio no less than four times per week.
Don't Torture Yourself
The hardest part for the majority of us is being vigilant to our healthy eating plans. The holidays may be behind us, but our newly-acquired eating habits may still be with us. Try to wean yourself into healthy eating by allowing yourself to have a treat. Remember not to overdo it. And you should still be eating about five small meals per day.
Sticking to it, cardio and healthy eating--if you follow that path, you'll be bikini-weather ready while you're still in your parka.
Ryan Barnhart, MS, PES, is a certified Performance Enhancement
and Injury Prevention Specialist through the National Academy of Sports
Medicine (NASM). He also holds a master's degree in exercise science, as
well as a bachelor of sport management, both from California University
of Pennsylvania. Ryan has worked with numerous collegiate and amateur
athletes across many different fields. Ryan also has had the opportunity
to work with several professional athletes. Recently he has worked with
amateur and professional athletes within the emerging sport of Mixed
Ryan is currently the director of fitness at a 700+ member gym near Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys working with weekend warriors, athletes, and everyone in between. You can contact Ryan at email@example.com.