ALPENA, Mich. — As we move out of the warm summer months And transition into the cold and snowy part of the year, it’s harder to get out and do activities we enjoy. That includes exercising and staying active.
A number of studies suggest the absence of sunlight and warm temperatures during winter can negatively affect happiness and willingness to get out of the house. This means exercising can become especially difficult when temperatures are colder and snow makes traveling harder. Rachel Hart, a member at Bay Athletic Club, says she can relate.
“I do find it hard sometimes to workout in the winter because during the summer time, the way I do stay active is by being outside, and you can’t really do that in the winter.”
A personal trainer at Bay, Sarah Morrison, says the key to staying motivated is doing activities that will keep workouts fun.
“People tend to just stay inside more. It’s cold, you don’t go out, you don’t get as much exercise, you don’t get as much movement. So my advice going into those months would be to have a plan in place.”
Because it’s so easy to lose momentum during the cooler months, getting involved in group fitness classes can offer an incentive to those who find it difficult. Rachel says this is one way she stays motivated when she doesn’t feel like getting in a workout.
“I do go to the classes. My favorite ones are yoga and the urban ride mix, and then I come here a lot as well.”
And if that isn’t a big enough incentive, being active can also have a positive impact on mental health during those cold and dark days.”
Morrison says, “There are so many credible sources out there that link exercise as something you can do to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety because it does release happy hormones in your body, like endorphins and dopamine.”
A number of group fitness classes are offered at Bay Athletic Club, but whatever you do, get up, get out and keep moving.