I live in New Hampshire. It is currently 25 degrees. It has snowed every day this week, which means I’ve shoveled my driveway every day this week. There’s 8 inches of snow in my front yard, and this is just the beginning of winter. Most people here take full advantage of the snow and spend their time skiing, snowboarding, skating, and frolicking about. I love the snow. I do all of these things, but this weather does make it extremely difficult to commit to working out. To do something outside, you have to have full snow gear on. Chains-on-your-trainers level snow gear. To go to the gym, you have to put your gym clothes on, then all of your snow gear, then shovel your way out of your driveway, then drive in terrible conditions, then get out all of your snow gear, then workout, then get back into your snow gear, then drive home, and likely shovel your driveway again. I’m exhausted after typing that.
It’s going to be a long winter, but I’ve already started figuring out ways of getting my workout while coping with the weather. For starters, you get so many steps when shoveling a driveway! Its sort of a blessing to do that once a day. And walking my dogs in the snow is a great leg workout; much better than on pleasantly paved sidewalks. The big change I’ve made though, is that I moved a lot of my workout from the gym and the outdoors to inside my house. My trainer has developed workout for me that can be done at home with little equipment, so three workouts a week I am with him in the hall of my basement. I’ve also gotten very familiar with two key elements: the treadmill and the app store.
On the treadmill, I generally do one of three workouts:
- A steady jog for about a half hour. I am not great at running distances and this is just enough for me to feel like I’ve accomplished something. 30 minutes at a slow and steady pace though, is not enough to really get you in the fat burning zone. In order to enter your fat burning zone, you need to go for at least 40 minutes, and it is only the time after your first 40 minutes where you really burn fat.
- A brisk, hour-long walk, with increasing incline. Generally, I begin walking for a half mile or so at 3.6 mph and 0% incline. I then increase my incline by .5% every tenth of a mile until reach an incline of 6%. Then, I got down the ladder, decreasing by .5% every tenth of a mile. I warm down with about 3/10 mile with 0% incline. This gets me into the fat burning zone and gives me a great workout, without feeling like I’m going to die from running for an hour.
- A 15-20 minute HIIT workout. Generally when I do this, I use Kayla Itsinis’s Sweat with Kayla App, varying the speeds on the treadmill as I got from run to rest.
Lastly, I have began using the app Asana Rebel. It’s a free yoga workout app. For me, yoga is more about warming down than anything else. This app offers dozens of free videos, changing daily, ranging from 12 to 20 minutes. I usually opt for a quick yoga workout using the app after a treadmill session. I find that when I am on a treadmill for too long, my muscles become sore because I am only using certain muscles, in a certain way, for long periods of time. Doing a bit of yoga after being on the treadmill stretches me out and cools down my whole body.