LIve Well Polk Don’t let rainy days de­rail your ex­er­cise plan

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Ti­fani Ki­nard Polk Med­i­cal Cen­ter

Ed­i­tor’s note: This is a re-run of a col­umn we printed back in Oc­to­ber that felt ap­pro­pri­ate con­sid­er­ing the re­cent weather lo­cally. - KM

The cool days of Oc­to­ber and early Novem­ber of­ten bring a sigh of re­lief to those of us liv­ing in the South­east who have been ex­er­cis­ing out­side in 90-de­gree heat most of the sum­mer.

But we all know what comes next: rain.

Af­ter spend­ing days in­side re­lax­ing with the air con­di­tioner go­ing full blast, soon we’ll be in­side with the heater on wish­ing the rain would stop. But don’t let the driz­zly weather cur­tail your ex­er­cise reg­i­men – if you have one. There are lots of ways to get fit in­doors.

The most ob­vi­ous way but of­ten the most ex­pen­sive al­ter­na­tive is to join a lo­cal gym. While this might seem to be an ex­pen­sive al­ter­na­tive to be­com­ing a sofa potato dur­ing the win­ter, it’s re­ally not.

Many gyms of­fer in­ex­pen­sive sign-up fees and you can of­ten pay by the month. If you can, avoid pay­ing ahead of time over an ex­tended pe­riod, even if it seems like a good deal. If you have never joined a gym, you might find it’s just not the thing for you and it would be a shame to in­vest too much money up front.

If you are look­ing for a less rig­or­ous ex­er­cise rou­tine, walk­ing is al­ways a good op­tion.

While you might pre­fer walk­ing out­doors, dur­ing the rainy win­ter months, that can be dif­fi­cult. Shop­ping malls are a great op­tion and many of them wel­come walk­ers in the morn­ing be­fore the stores open.

Malls also of­fer a safe, se­cure and well-lighted place where you can lace up yoursneak­ers and feel fairly com­fort­able. There’s also a side ben­e­fit – com­pan­ion­ship. You can of­ten see peo­ple walk­ing around lo­cal tracks in the sum­mer­time chat­ting with their neigh­bors. The same thing can take place at a shop­ping mall and you never know when you might make a new friend.

There are also many ways you can work up a sweat in the com­fort of your own home or apart­ment. There are three pieces of work­out equip­ment that can fit nicely in a small liv­ing space – a tread­mill, an el­lip­ti­cal ma­chine or a sta­tion­ary bi­cy­cle. But be­ware. DO NOT get snagged by the lat­est in­fomer­cial promis­ing you fun and en­joy­ment from your own liv­ing room as you shed the pounds.

Such equip­ment is not out­ra­geously ex­pen­sive, but it does not come cheap and you bet­ter make sure you have a way to store it. Also, check to see if what you want to pur­chase can be folded up in some way. Do not buy an ex­er­cise ma­chine you have never tried. Most gyms will al­low you a try­out pe­riod. Visit and walk on the tread­mill; take a few strides on the el­lip­ti­cal; pedal on the sta­tion­ary bike. Find out what you like BE­FORE you buy it.

There are also tons of on­line apps as well as videos you can rent or buy that of­fer ex­er­cise rou­tines in your own liv­ing room, rang­ing from short but in­tense car­dio drills to Pi­lates, yoga and even Zumba, com­plete with mu­sic. Find what works for you.

If you de­cide you want to go out in the rain for a run, al­most ev­ery sports­wear com­pany makes wa­ter­proof or wa­ter-re­sis­tant work­out ma­te­rial that can keep you from get­ting chilled to the bone. Not ev­ery­one likes get­ting wet, but on a warm day you might en­joy na­ture’s way of cool­ing you down.

The most im­por­tant thing is to keep mov­ing. As Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas ap­proach, find­ing cre­ative ways to stay in shape might help you avoid the hol­i­day weight gain so many of us strug­gle with.

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