Don’t Let Your Fitness Routine Slip into Hibernation

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As the holiday season approaches, schedules tend to get busier. We have a lot on our plates (figuratively and literally), so remember to dedicate some time to exercise for your body, mind and overall well-being. Running can be a great option!

Running is an excellent way to stay active. In addition to its many health benefits, running can be a great way to spend time with your friends or family, clear your mind after a long day or get some valuable alone time.

Take care of yourself

Running is one of the best cardio activities, as it quickly increases your heart rate and is an excellent option if you want to get a good workout into a busy schedule. Also, as a weight-bearing exercise, it has a positive effect on bone health, which is especially important for women. Osteoporosis becomes a problem for many middle-aged women.

Schedule time to work out

The problem we often face is how to juggle family, work, house duties and more. It is important to incorporate workout time into your daily schedule and plan ahead! Many people find running in the morning before work to be the perfect way to start their day. It wakes them up, increases the blood flow to the brain and eliminates the possibility of unexpected events stealing your workout time. Making use of your lunch break can be a good solution as well. Go for a quick run, and make sure you still have time to eat afterwards.

Battle your excuses

Running after work might not be as time-constraining as during your lunch time, but the truth is that it is difficult to exercise after work when you are tired and your energy level is low. There is a part of you that just wants to kick your shoes off and relax. To fight this, keep in mind how energized you feel after exercising! We probably all give in to the excuses at some point, but knowing what excuses you will come up with most frequently and being prepared to battle them will help minimize this.

Involve friends and family

Run with your friends, spouse, kids, neighbors, co-workers or your dog. Running can be your social time with people you know, or a way to get to know them. If you struggle with being disciplined and sticking to a workout schedule, involve people around you. Making an appointment with someone else obligates you to work out and makes it a lot easier to get up early in the morning or work out after a long day.

Set goals

Whether you want to run for fitness or competitions, make sure to set some goals. It is be an excellent way to motivate yourself to run and keep yourself accountable. One of your goals can be to train for some road races, and there are many in the area. Thanksgiving time presents an excellent opportunity to sign up for a Turkey Trot. Involve your friends and family and make it a social event. If you have never done one before, you should try it and have some fun! With a slight competitive edge, you might get hooked and find yourself setting a goal of running a better time at your next race or placing higher in your age group. If you prefer not to compete, run for a good cause. Many races in the area are organized for charity, so this could be a good way to give your training a purpose.

Make it fun

Adding variety to your workout is important, so keep it fun and interesting. One way to do this is to write down on some note cards different workout ideas: vary the time of your run, intensities, routes, location, etc. Keep all these variations of your workouts in a box and draw a workout from it whenever you are up for a surprise!

Tackle Midwest winter

For many, winter is a season when staying physically active is challenging. Make use of your local gym. Running indoors on a track or a treadmill is a great option to avoid the hassle of being in the snow and cold. When transferring from indoor to outdoor running, make sure to keep it fun and interesting. When running on a treadmill, vary not only the pace but also the grade (degree of incline).

Race where it’s warm

If you need a motivation to train over the winter time, sign up for a race outside the Midwest. It will give you motivation to train and it could be your getaway time with friends or family and a good change of scenery.


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Tags: fitness, mac, michigan athletic club, stay in shape, winter running, winter workout

Alicja Stannard

Alicja Stannard, MS Ed, is a personal trainer at the Michigan Athletic Club. She is USA Track and Field Level 1 Certified Coach. Alicja enjoys working with runners of all levels and abilities, as well as those seeking cardiovascular improvement. She can be reached at (517) 364-8888.

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