By WIN Team Member: Karen Evers, R. Kin, PTA
It’s that time of year, where the weather is cold and grey. Like a lot of people, I find that I can suffer from the winter blues. I recognize that it is very important for me to stay physically active this time of year, ignoring the desire to go home to my couch and watch TV. Exercise releases chemicals in the body called endorphins which decrease our perception of pain and triggers a positive mood. It gives us a natural high.
In the winter I find it difficult to be physically active regularly outside compared to the warmer months. So I spend my days at the gym. I hear comments frequently how the gym can become monotonous, but this depends on how you train. I enjoy a cross training approach. Cross training is basically a training routine that involves several forms of exercise. Cross training is great because it helps you maintain a high level of overall fitness. It also helps to prevent overuse injuries or repetitive use injuries that can occur when you perform the same activities over and over again. Cross training is beneficial because different activities allow you to use your muscles in different ways. Athletes use cross training to train for their sport rather than sport specific training because it can help them reach a higher level of fitness.
I cross train by participating in a variety of classes at the gym with different focuses. I attend weight classes, core classes, cardio classes that incorporate different training styles such as intervals, plyometrics and agility. I also workout at the gym on my own so I can tailor my own workouts. I find group classes a benefit for me because it’s social, and the instructors are there to push you. I also joined an indoor volleyball league to help get me out, spend time with friends, develop new skills and of course stay active.
My advice for sticking to a regular physical activity program is keep it challenging for progression, add variety, make it social and most importantly have fun!