Monday, November 9, 2009

Fitness When The Weather Outside Is Frightful

“Baby, it's cold outside. Or, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, it soon will be. And that means 'tis the season when extra pounds can pile up faster than frost on a pumpkin. But fitness experts say that with a little extra effort you can successfully bring your workout in from the cold. ‘The real key is to stick with it. Stay motivated and don't let the winter get the best of you,’ said Kerri O'Brien, an exercise physiologist with Life Fitness, which designs and manufactures exercise equipment. ‘In winter we cover up a lot more and we don't have the threat of the dreaded bikinis, so we negotiate with ourselves,’ she said. ‘The average American gains eight pounds over the holidays.’ And then they hit the gym. Keith Worts, chief operating officer of the Crunch national health club chain, says attendance always spikes in winter. ‘We have about 25 percent more members joining,’ Worts said. ‘People can't go outside to run and bike.’ Worts said as the seasons change, so do the fitness classes. A summer workout geared to getting clientele ready for their bikinis will likely give way to a winter "pre-ski" class that strengthens leg muscles for the slopes. He said the economic downturn has even more people flocking to clubs as the thermometer plunges. ‘It helps your mind cope with stress and anxiety. The days are shorter. You get cooped up, especially in New York apartments. And it's a place to go.’ ‘Health clubs during the winter are great because you don't have to feel the environmental factors,’ McCall [spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise] said.”

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