Shaking it up when temperatures are down

February 7, 2013 —

Does cold weather derail your workout routine? Like when the ice-glazed surfaces of the great outdoors have you waddling like a penguin, yet the thought of taking a run on a treadmill or putting on your swimsuit puts a chill on your enthusiasm?

I can relate; I seem to get better cardio workouts with a change of scenery or a mix of “moves” and music. I know I’m fortunate in having access to DMU’s wonderful wellness program, where our oh-so-chipper wellness staff put me through the paces in spinning and step classes, core exercises and strength training.

Photo: Prevention.com

Photo: Prevention.com

Still, having grown up in the Midwest where the cold and snow are winter givens, I took to heart Prevention.com’s recent post on walking workouts for the winter months. Okay, some of the bits of advice are no-brainers, like dress for the weather and allow at least 10 minutes to warm up. But I liked the creativity of the site’s tips for how to make treadmill time more interesting when the weather is bad or it’s too dark outside. Here are some of the post’s “boredom busters”:

  • Create a tape of fast and slow songs to keep your pace upbeat and make the time fly.
  • Using an old deck of cards, label the jacks a “sprint,” the queens a “hill,” the kings a “slow pace” and the aces a “moderate pace.” Shuffle the deck, flip a card, do what it says for one minute, then flip another. Continue until you’ve completed your workout.
  • Grab a partner and take turns walking on the treadmill followed by sets of three resistance moves, such as bicep curls, squats and ab crunches.
  • Create a game while walking and watching TV, such as speeding up during the commercials. Or pick a character on your show and run/walk faster when she or he is on screen.

What do you do to keep moving during cold months?


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.