Support Groups - Fitness for Bears (Exercising through Winter)

01-07-2008, 12:38 PM
This developed out of a discussion in the 100 lb Support Group area. A number of us have a really hard time working out through the winter. I like to joke that I must have been a bear in a past life because I feel like hibernating until Spring.

So, join us in our quest to keep on track with exercise into the Spring. Let's give each other motivation, support & suggestions to keep warm with exercise! We can do it!



Last year, I slacked off around this time of year & didn't get back on track until May. I regained 10 pounds I had lost. I lost them and then lost 10 more. I determined not to repeat the same mistake. I've gotten to know some of the regulars at the gym, so I'm taking inspiration, motivation & support from them.

01-07-2008, 02:33 PM
No gym today as I was in team meetings all day today - did manage to hot foot it around town during my lunch hour though and literally ate lunch on the run

Worked out hard yesterday and feeling it today in my muscles! Will go to the gym tomorrow night to work out again.

I've been thinking about this as admittedly this is my first year of 'doing this' (whatever 'doing this' is be it losing/one day maintenance etc) and I realised once back on track a week n a bit ago that I basically slipped early to mid november. I had been going out running at half five every morning but as the weather got colder and it got darker (not pleasant as can't see and not safe either) I kept trying to get out but didn't and one day become two etc etc. My body also MADE me want more sleep (it did really!) so getting up was an issue. I'm hoping to hit target mid to late summer this year and as I'm now aware of the problem I had last year I was thinking of just saying that from mid oct I'm going to completely switch from morning running to evening gym'ing (have treadmill at home too so can run there).

The only thing I am pondering is that potentially I could gain weight during this period again - I'm considering (theoretically) losing a bit more than I want to lose so that I can regain it - just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this? I know the theory is to maintain a steady weight at all times etc etc but I'm being realistic and trying to find coping strategies for certain problems I may have before they occur.

Sorry for the long post but anyone have any thoughts :o?

01-08-2008, 07:44 AM
Good morning fellow bears. I hate these dark mornings, too, and I can sympathize with you, denialisnthappiness, in not wanting to go out in the dark to run. Well, I wouldn't run if it were full daylight....but can't bring myself to do fitness walking in the dark, be it a.m. or p.m., winter or summer.

I think that it is "normal" for our bodies to put on a few pounds over the winter, and the desire for extra sleep and increased appetite are probably something hardwired into our systems from Neanderthal days. Personally, I am willing to accept going up a few pounds over the winter, then busting my bear behind to work it off after the holidays or whatever, rather than struggle to maintain a lower weight the rest of the year.

Another thought is that, since you're aware of the potential for gain during the winter, you could prepare for it ahead of time, making sure to keep "forbidden" foods out of the house and cranking up your exercise before it gets dreadfully difficult.

Anyway, I've managed to force myself out of bed about half an hour early this past week, and gotten in 20-minutes of light exercise. I've also started taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator - and when weather permits, I'm going to try and get some walking in over lunch, too. I work at a university and have access to two gyms and lots of fitness classes, but that "gym smell" just brings back too many negative memories from high school phys ed class!

If I've calculated correctly, it's "only" 70 days 'till Spring -- we can make it!

01-08-2008, 12:16 PM
I had a bunch of errands to run, but I got what I call my "consistent 30", which is 30 minutes of cardio in at the gym this am. I hate waking up early, but it's tough to predict what's going to happen during my day (I often end up working through lunch). And I just don't want to deal with it at the end of the day. I have asthma, so I find the gym's a good option for me both when the weather's really hot or really cold. And I don't have to worry about walking/biking around the park in the dark.

Tomorrow, I really want to get up earlier so I can get in some weight training. I like to get in at least 2 days of that.

01-09-2008, 03:58 AM
Thanks for the suggestions dustdiva... shall have to have a ponder about it (only another nine or so months to prepare for it :lol:)

Doing the evening workout thing has been going well so far, went last wednesday, friday, sunday and yesterday and going again tomorrow. Just aiming for every other day for now as need time to rest seeing as I'm hitting the weights quite hard - my hamstrings feel like they're about to erupt this morning but it's all good lol

Oh well... it's five to 8 in the morning and I best get to work! You know working out makes you appreciate the 'down time' even more... a whole evening to do what I like tonight!:D (except eat junk ;)). I've just downloaded TBL the one with contestants from every state so ploughing my way through watching that will be tonight's activity

Have a good day everyone :carrot:

01-09-2008, 07:48 AM
*yawn* It's rainy and blech this morning - and I woke up at 3:45 am and never really got back to sleep. Gonna be a fun day at the office!

I did do my "usual" a.m. exercise routine, though. I've only been at it consistently for the last week, but I know that I feel so much better & energized when I do it, so at least for now it's easier to talk myself into it than out of it.

nylisa, you sound like you're doing a good job of working varied intensity & routines into your workouts - - I'm going to have to think about cranking my routine up a few notches soon, I believe. There's a "Strong Women" class that meets several days a week over the lunch hour -- maybe I'll check that out.

Do you guys workout on weekend mornings, too? I did last Saturday, but decided to give myself Sunday off.

01-10-2008, 08:13 AM
Another rainy morning - and I woke up with a headache. But after a cup of coffee I slowly started my exercises & got it done. I figured I'd feel even worse if I didn't do it. But boy, I'm looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday!

01-12-2008, 09:38 AM
Has everyone gone back into hibernation? Here we have had some freakishly warm weather early this week - almost up to 70 a couple days - and now it's back in winter mode, with snow on the way tomorrow. I wish it would pick a season and stay there!

It's Saturday and I'm getting a slow start, but I will do my usual a.m. stretch routine. In addition to that yesterday, I got about 15-minutes of brisk walking in when I had to run some errands at work. With all the hills & steps on my route, it felt like a pretty good little "workout." Plus, this is no "big" thing, but I'm really pleased with myself that I've not used the elevator at work at all this month, except for one morning when I was loaded down with stuff to go up to my office. I still get winded when I do all 3 flights, but it's getting easier every day.

And........(drumroll).........I signed up for the "Strong Women" weight-training class that meets for 45 mins. over the lunch hour M-W-F. I'm looking forward to that! There are 2 other women in my building who're enrolled, so I have someone to drag me to the gym if I have trouble getting motivated. (It's early in the semester, so the fitness rooms aren't that smelly yet!)

Hope you other "bears" are doing okay!

01-12-2008, 02:33 PM
I'm still here just about! Between work, working out, eating healthy etc I seem to be running out of time for sleep so trying to catch up on that.

I have a stinking cold right now, nose is completed blocked up and sound all throaty. Went to the gym this morning to try and sweat the beast out! We've had some freak weather around here though and some areas flooded again last night like they did this summer so that didn't exactly make the journey to work the easiest.

Good job on the elevator thing :D:carrot:

Re: the earlier question - yes I do workout at the weekends - I find it easier if anything because a couple of hours in a day where I have hours to do whatever I like is in my mind easier than a couple of hours at the end of a day when I've already been to work for nine hours and still have to get home to get dinner etc.

Hope everyone is still plodding along and attempting to have fun doing it :)

01-15-2008, 07:16 AM
Glad you're still hanging in here, denialisnt...! I hope your cold is doing better by now.

I gave myself Sunday off from exercise - but my trips up & down the stairs doing laundry count for something, right? Yesterday I did my usual a.m. routine, and then at noon I had my first try with the "Strong Women" class -- those old ladies kicked my butt! Actually they're not that much older than I am, but the class was challenging enough for me to really be feeling it. I am going to stick with this - the class is nice and small, and everyone is so supportive of each other!

Looks like I might get some more upper-body workout shoveling snow before the week is out. I guess I'm weird (no, I know I'm weird) but I have always liked activities like shoveling and lawn mowing -- I like the sense of accomplishment you can see afterward.

Anyway, a good week to all -- keep on at it, bears!

01-15-2008, 01:27 PM
Great work on keeping up the routine Dustdiva & Denialisn'thappiness! And hope your cold is over soon Denialisn'thappiness.

Sorry for the nonresponse. Things got a bit crazy, but I made it to the gym 3 out of 5 days last week. Dustdiva, I usually give myself the weekends off from the gym, but I try to do something more fun or spontaneous, like a walk in the park.

So far, I've made it both days this week to the gym.

01-15-2008, 06:06 PM
Looks like I might get some more upper-body workout shoveling snow before the week is out. I guess I'm weird (no, I know I'm weird) but I have always liked activities like shoveling and lawn mowing -- I like the sense of accomplishment you can see afterward.

no I always love washing the cars by hand and raking the leaves! Heh I always forget how much I ache the next day after the leaves though so good job it's only a twice yearly thing or I'd not want to do it!

Cold is almost gone thank goodness, dosed myself up with medicine so I could get some sleep the past couple of nights and have managed to keep on plan with the eating. Felt all inspired after watching TBL season three finale the other night (downloaded it) so really went for it in the gym monday night and pleased with myself. Slowly adding in some more stretches/toning exercises etc - managed forty seconds doing the plank before flopping into the floor so will have to work on that one! lol

Hope everyone is having a good week :D work and then gym again for me tomorrow :)

01-17-2008, 03:58 PM
I made it today to the gym. So far, that's 3 out of 4 this week, planning for tomorrow too. I really wanted to go to the gym. I even I cut myself off after 2 drinks at an open bar event (wasn't driving afterwards) because I wanted to go so badly! And it worked, I made it :) I even managed to stick to a large proportion of veggies/fruits to other stuff.

01-18-2008, 07:13 AM
nylisa - that's great willpower! I admire you for making the choices you did -- it's still too easy for me to let my life control me, instead of the other way around.

Speaking of which, I will unfortunately miss my noon time Strong Women class because of scheduling issues beyond my control. But I think I'll be able to remember enough of what I've learned so far to do a "make-up" routine at home on Saturday. It'll be a challenging weekend, though -- I have class tonight from 5-9 and again Saturday from 9am to 2pm. That's a lot of sitting!

01-23-2008, 09:08 PM
Thought I'd post before we fall off the page :-) I hope everyone's hanging in there. Yesterday morning & today I really had to talk myself into doing my a.m. routine, but I managed to convince myself I'd feel more out of it if I didn't get moving. I'm still sticking with this new "Strong Women" weight training class, and even attempted to do a version of the routines at home on Monday when it was a holiday & class didn't meet.

Wait a minute...Was that me who just typed that? It's been a long, long time since I've had an exercise habit!

01-26-2008, 08:20 PM
Another thought is that, since you're aware of the potential for gain during the winter, you could prepare for it ahead of time, making sure to keep "forbidden" foods out of the house and cranking up your exercise before it gets dreadfully difficult.
Yeah, I used to do really horrid things like sit under the blankets and eat marshmallow creme. Oh, the horror... I went through the cupboards this winter and removed pretty much anything that had no nutritional value/high calories and threw it away and replaced it with other things (lo-cal sweetener instead of sugar, etc.) and have things like canned veggies (which I like) at the front where I can see them. Usually when I head for a snack when I don't need any food, I just look at the canned peas and turn around and forget about it, lol.

Besides that, I've been doing okay with excercising, I've been taking long walks in spite of the cold. It's crawling out of bed that's hard, once I'm out there I'm fine. ^_^

01-27-2008, 05:06 AM
tell me about it... the mornings and evenings are just about starting to show some signs of getting lighter and I can't wait!

Still plugging on - going to the gym for a couple of hours every other day.

As for the blanket thing - heh I could spend all day if I went into all the old hiding places I used to have for food. I always used to have a blanket on my bed so if anyone came into my room I could quickly hide the food... who did I think I was fooling *shakes head*