Winter-Proof Your Workout

The winter months provide enough challenges with shorter days and stressful commutes in the rain, ice and snow; do not let your fitness goals become victim to the dreary weather. Here are 3 steps for winter-proofing your workout.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S.M.A.R.T. = Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Timely.

As you embark on, or continue on, your fitness journey- it is imperative that you set goals. Whether they are short term or long term, these goals should follow some simple parameters. The S.M.A.R.T. system was established by Paul J. Meyer in his book, Attitude is Everything, and it is a wonderful guideline for helping you to choose your own personal fitness goals.

Let’s look at an example of a well thought out goal that uses the S.M.A.R.T. system: “I will be able to do 30 pushups in 60 seconds by my 30th birthday.” First and second, is it Specific and Measurable? Yes, this goal is clear and unambiguous. There are a specific number of pushups that you will be able to execute in a particular amount of time. Third, is it Achievable? Yes, as long as your birthday is not next week and the number of pushups that you can do right now is zero! If you can already do 10 pushups or so and your birthday is a few months away – you can achieve this goal with a proper training schedule. Do not go to extremes because you set yourself up to fail – choose something that is within reach. Fourth, is the goal Relevant? Determine if it is worthwhile to you. If you have been wanting to improve your upper body and core strength, this goal may be a way to help get you there. If you can already do 25 pushups in 30 seconds, maybe you want to reassess this goal or the timing for it. Finally, is this goal Timely? Giving your goal a target date or deadline helps to keep you focused and allows for you to plan. If your goal starts off with, “Someday I might be able to…” You are setting yourself up for failure.

2. Be Held Accountable

Once your goals are set for the winter – share those aspirations with others. If you tell someone else your goal, it increases your chance of successfully completing it. Family, friends, and co-workers are all wonderful catalysts to keep you moving and hold you accountable to your goals. One of them might even want to join you on your quest. These people can also help you to eliminate excuses. Excuses can be crippling to a goal can and destroy any chance you have of achieving success. It is easy to make excuses to yourself, but when you have to give an excuse out loud to someone else- it often sounds silly.

3. Branch out

Try something new. One of the worst things you can do during the winter is get too comfortable with your habits. Enjoying your soy latte from Starbucks™ and performing the same old routine at the gym may not be enough. Find a class or small group training you have not tried before. Sign-up for a session with a personal trainer. Get in the pool for a few laps. Tap into your inner Federer or Williams’ sister and take a tennis lesson. Register for Pilates and find your center. Use a new piece of equipment that you have been curious about, like the TRX. Whatever you choose- challenge yourself. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone and the results just might amaze you.

Bobby Sorensen, Fitness Director, CAC- Silver Lake