While some Americans are able to exercise outdoors almost year round, most of us must start doing indoor workouts for at least a few months. Transitioning in some sports or activities is easier—or at least more obvious—than in others. Ocean swimming, for instance, is a little difficult to replicate indoors, but if you play tennis or basketball outdoors throughout spring and summer, scout locations in advance and find indoor courts you can use once the first frost hits. Remember that 10 minutes of gently going through the motions involved in your sport, followed by easy, pain-free stretching, is even more important in winter than summer.
If you bicycle outdoors in warm weather—or even if you do not—working out on a stationary bike indoors is a great low-impact winter option. You need not worry about traffic, keeping your balance or avoiding potholes. Many fitness centers have bikes for individual use, as well as music-driven group “riding” sessions, with an instructor to show how to properly adjust the bike for your body and attain the levels of intensity and resistance you desire.
Similarly, mall walking keeps you protected from the elements and offers the possibility of a vigorous low-impact workout. Some malls have formal programs for walkers, often in the early morning, occasionally with the on-site presence of a health professional such as a physical therapist.
But no matter what your usual sport, you can benefit from a perfect-for-winter core-strengthening routine. Your torso—packed with muscles from shoulders to pelvis—is your core. With our help, your core can provide a great deal of power and stability, both when you exercise and when you move about in your daily life. We will be happy to help you create a core-strengthening program to improve your balance and posture and make you less prone to injury while maintaining your fitness level during the colder months.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness
Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.
Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.