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Winter Fitness

Winter is one of the hardest times of the year to keep fit.  Thankfully, we have what I like to call our own “home gym.”  We own a stationary bike, treadmill, bench press, and an assortment of exercise videos including 30 day Shred and P90x.  All that said, it’s still very tempting to skip a workout every day.  You shiver at the cold outside, and imagine yourself rather sitting inside sipping a cup of hot cocoa, instead of pulling on your running shoes, tights, jacket, and gloves to glide out onto the frozen roads to pound out a 5 mile run in below freezing temps.

There are so many ways to make winter running much more enjoyable.  First of all, wear the right gear.  It’s miserable to go out in a cotton shirt and one layer of cotton sweats, come back soaked in sweat and chilled to the bone.  That doesn’t sound pleasant, does that?  Polyester is the way to go.  Cotton is commonly called by survival experts, “death cloth.”  It’s called that for a reason as it can very easily promote hypothermia by causing your body to cool very quickly instead of wicking all the sweat from your body.  Get a good pair of running tights.  I would recommend getting them at Walmart as that is the cheapest.  I got a pretty good quality pair from there.  They were comparable to Sports Authority and much cheaper.  Also getting some sort of undearmor shirt and a light but warm running jacket will definitely pay off.    Layer up on the socks and even the gloves.  I will very often wear thick Thinsulate gloves.   They are always easy to strip off and stuff into your pants pocket.

Go out prepared.  Brave the wind.  Set the alarm.  Take a buddy.  Talk.  Share what you’re reading in your bible.  I find that talking to someone makes a run pass by so much faster than listening to an ipod or running in silence.   It helps to relate to each other and challenge each other.  If you don’t have someone else to motivate you, it’s a lot harder to get out the door and a lot easier to make the excuses.

Second, don’t go out with any particular training plan in mind.  Listen to your body.  Go out for 20 minutes or 60 minutes if you feel like it.  Add a couple sprints, strides (100 meters, 200 meters).  Mix it up.  Tone down your running.  Dabble in other exercise like bicycling, strength training, swimming, spinning, core training, etc… Make it fun.  Shovel snow.  Go sledding.  It doesn’t have to be regimented.

Remember, in the end, bodily exercise profiteth little.  If you mix a work out, you’ll survive.  The most important thing is meditating and being in God’s Word everyday, not getting in your daily run.  I’m always too hypocritical in that.  It’s easy to tell others to do it but applying it to yourself is the hardest but the best thing you could ever do.  1 Timothy 4:8 8For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

 

Happy Running or Biking or Swimming! 🙂

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