If you are anything like me (i.e. live in a Midwest State) you experience humid summers in the 85+ degree range most days. Or, you experience freezing temps by the time October hits until March-ish, if we are lucky - or unlucky.
Let’s not forget our friend Daylight Savings Time. This hits sometime in November where the clock falls back an hour and life starts to get real depressing and lazy for us Midwesterners. You wake up to darkness and come home to darkness after a day’s work. It’s the worst!
BUT DOES IT HAVE TO BE? Man, that’s a hard one to battle with. But, short answer is no.
Here are my top 8 keys to battling the winter blues and humid summer heat.
I give you Cold vs. Hot Workout tips on making the best of it.
Winter is Coming!
Nope, it’s already here! Follow these tips to make the most of the dark days.
1. Have the Right Gear: You run in the summer but once that cold weather hits, you hang up those laces. To combat the cold temps, go buy some thermal dry fit tights. These are the bee’s knees and work! Don’t forget dry wick gloves, socks, ear warm and long sleeves for your upper body. Zippers make for a good peel off session if needed.
The rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer. So when its 30 degrees, think about what it would feel like if it was 50 and your body will quickly adjust as you start moving. It’s not so bad when you think of it this way. You just have to start.
2. Be Seen: Wear reflective gear. I’m a culprit for this but it’s crucial for you to be seen. Your shoes, tights, gloves, everything should have reflectors. You can even run with some handheld lights or get a reflecting vest to put over your jacket. Consider this for your pets too. Light up leashes and collars exist!
3. It’s Better with Friends: Especially if you are scared of the dark like me. I really do get a little on edge not knowing what could be lurking behind a bush. It’s super important for women to be on guard and aware of their surroundings. Stay visible by setting your course in lit areas. Keep your reflective gear on, and recruit a friend or neighbor to join you. Safety in numbers.
4. Your Pets Will Love It: Your pets are going as crazy as you are cooped up inside all day and night. High energy dogs especially need that release. I have two of them! Walking them is always on my to-do list, but I don’t always get to it every day. Shame on me. But, taking them out can serve a dual purpose if you are strapped for time. Some needed fresh air and exercise for the both of you. To make it a heart pumping workout, try the following to maximize your time together:
- Walk briskly and let your animal get their business done early - 5 minutes
- Jog – 60 seconds
- Brisk Walk – 60 seconds
- Repeat Jog and Brisk Walk for the rest of your duration, or 15-20 minutes to get that heart rate up.
Also consider doggie day for the days you just can’t fit in a walk. It will still help them get the much needed exercise while you dedicate your time to your daily workout routine. I’m all about being efficient with our time!
5. You CAN Keep it Indoors: Spice it up though! While working out in our living room is hugely convenient for us, it’s also very tempting to stay on that couch you use for R&R. Not to mention, the scenery can get a little boro. Here are a few suggestions to break it up:
- Recruit a friend or two and rotate homes. After workout, maybe dinner is on the books for some extra g-friend time.
- Sign up for a local indoor cycling, yoga or Pilates class.
- Indoor rock climbing is a killer all over workout. Have you seen Daila Ojeda in the ESPN body issue? Can’t argue with results.
Summer, Summer, Summer Time!
My favorite ballad for this time of year. How to plan for the weather and your busy schedule.
1. Schedule Around the Weather: When I was running, I’d look at the weather every day. If it was going to rain in the afternoon, I’d plan to run in the AM. Getting up was hard, but damn I felt good all day long. I’d do the same if it was supposed to be super-hot in the evening. That hot humid air is miserable to breathe in and not to mention that high heat sun on my face is a no-no! Now, if you are not a morning person, you can schedule for late evening workouts for when that sun is going down. Be sure to follow the rules for reflective gear as mentioned above and take a friend if possible.
Download the Weather Channel app to get the latest near you.
2. Take Your Indoor Routine Outside: Print your favorite downloadable workout or visit my YouTube channel for some face time guidance. Find a tree in your backyard with some shade or head to the nearest park. The added light therapy from being outdoors will boost your mood even more when you’re done! (YouTube Channel coming soon!)
3. Be Adventurous: Paddle boarding is on my bucket list every summer. Find a local park near you that offers rentals. Some yoga studios may offer a seasonal class just for this purpose. Grab some friends and experience this full body workout. Kayaking and canoeing are usually in the same area if you find a space that offers them all.
Hiking and biking some hilly trails are also great for endurance outdoors. Don’t have a bike? Look for rentals in your area or hit up a local garage sale.
If you have access to a body of water or even a pool then try taking some laps and make them semi pro. Wading doesn’t cut it. When you are out of breath, then you are working hard enough.