Winter Exercise

By Dan Guelle

Exercise is a great supplement to your weight loss plan and an important part of a healthy lifestyle. You may have settled into a great exercise routine as you’ve progressed on your weight loss journey. However, the weather is now changing, so it is a good time to start planning ahead for the winter months. When the snow starts to fall, you should feel confident that you’ve already set yourself up for success.

Time to join a gym?

  • Take some time to look around and get to know the gym; decide which machines/stations you will use and begin to plan.
  • ASK FOR HELP- most gyms will have personal trainers available for a cost, but there should always be helpful staff around that are willing to guide you or answer any questions.
  • Have a workout plan and stick to it, but don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Focus on you, don’t compare yourself to others in the gym. Everyone is on their own journey.
  • Prep yourself and your area- have your water, towel, headphones, etc..
  • Keep it fun- music, movies/tv, and podcasts are great for making your workout more enjoyable.

Free weights/bands vs machines: What should you choose?

Machines can be great for low impact training, but they can be intimidating and confusing. As always, ask gym staff for assistance or advice, that’s why they are there! Most machines will also have diagrams on them showing proper use.
Free weights and bands are great for trying new exercises to work different areas of your body. If you are in a gym and choosing to use free weights like dumbbells or if you are using resistance bands, try to find an area near the station where you took the weights from and out of walking lanes for your exercises.

Treadmill Tips and Tricks

  • Start and Stop at 0mph – Get on the treadmill before starting it. When you are finished with your workout slowly bring the speed back to 0mph before stepping off.
  • The handles are there to help you on and off, don’t hold on while you walk or run. This promotes poor posture and form.
  • Always look ahead.
  • 0% incline is actually more like going downhill, set your treadmill to 1% incline to best simulate outdoor walking/running.
  • Alternate your speed and incline- use the preset workouts!

Treadmill Workouts

Most treadmills will have preset workouts you can choose from. However, the nice thing about treadmill workouts is that you can be in complete control if that is what you are looking for. Below, you’ll find some ideas and examples of different types of treadmill workouts. As always with exercise, listen to your body and start slow. If you are a beginner and want to try walking on the treadmill then about 3mph would be a good goal speed for you. Walking at 3mph would give you a 20 minute mile time. If you are a beginner jogger then 5mph would be a good goal speed. Jogging at 5mph would give you a 12 minute mile time.

Beginner

If you are new to treadmills or exercise a good place to start is a basic walking workout. This would consist of a 5 minute warm-up at about 75% of your workout speed, the workout which can be anywhere from 5-45 minutes depending on your fitness level, and a 5 minute cool-down at about 50% of your workout speed. Set your treadmill incline to 1.

Example:
5min @ 3mph
30min @ 4mph
5min @ 2mph

Intervals

Think of interval workouts as a 1:1 ratio for 2 different speeds. These can be walk/jog or jog/run alternating intervals. You will be alternating the speed back and forth for set periods of time. Warm-up walking at easy pace, increase speed 1 level, then increase speed again to a Jog, then decrease speed to previous walking level and repeat 4-6x. Set treadmill incline to 1.

Example:
5min warm-up @ easy pace
2min @ 3.5mph
2min @ 6mph
2min @ 3.5mph
2min @ 6mph
2min @ 3.5mph
2min @ 6mph
2min @ 3.5mph
2min @ 6mph
5min cool-down @ easy pace

Incline

The incline settings on the treadmill can simulate hills and this is a great way to enhance your workout. There are many different variations of hill workouts on the treadmill, and it can be as simple as increasing the incline a level for a normal walk or complex intervals and ladders. These incline settings allow you to get creative.

Example:
5min warm-up @ easy pace / Level 1 incline
2min @ 3mph / Level 2 incline
3min @ 3mph / Level 4 incline
2min @ 3.5mph / Level 4 incline
3min @ 3.5mph / Level 5 incline
2min @ 4mph / Level 5 incline
3min @ 4mph / Level 6 incline
2min @ 3.5mph / Level 5 incline
3min @ 3.5mph / Level 4 incline
2min @ 3mph / Level 4 incline
3min @ 2mph / Level 2 incline
5min cool-down @ easy pace / Level 1 incline