NMSA

Leadership Blog Series: 5 Strategies to Stay Active When You Want to Skip the Gym

Welcome to our leadership blog series! This month Christina Holmquist, Chapter President of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, ON., discusses how to stay motivated to workout despite the drop in temperature.

5 Strategies to Stay Active When You Want to Skip the Gym

With the dropping temperatures and the return to fall routines, it can be tempting to spend more time indoors and eating your favorite comfort foods instead of outside moving in the sunshine. After all, there’s no pressure to be “beach body” ready or to join a pick up sports team come November. The urge to hibernate and wear your yoga pants to lounge on the couch sipping hot chocolate can be pretty strong. However, maintaining physical activity levels during the winter can have many positive health benefits andbe crucial to preventing the winter blues, staying mentally sharp and feeling energetic during the colder months. Consistent exercise also provides a host of long term health benefits that your future self will thank you for. So, what are some things you can do to stay fit over the winter?

Here are some of my ideas for finding ways to enjoy exercise over the winter:

1. Get involved in a winter sport: skating, hockey, skiing, sledding; these are all sports that get you outside during the winter months and can add a fun change to your exercise routine.

2. Stay at home: if making your way to the gym after school involves too much time in the cold and gettinghome after dark, why not try a YouTube workout from the comfort of your home. Here are some of my favorite exercise channels:-The Body Coach TV: 15-20 minute videos that incorporate High Intensity Interval Training with bodyweight exercises.-Popsugar Fitness: 30 minute dance videos for a fun cardio workout.-GymRa: a mixture of different strength and yoga workouts by various fitness coaches, geared towards increasing overall strength and flexibility.

3. Try something new! The fall is the perfect time to switch up your routine and try out a new class. My favorite ways to try out new classes include:- Classpass: an online membership based platform that allows you to book classes at studios across Toronto and NYC- giving you a variety of options at a more affordable price. – Groupon: There are often deals on monthly memberships or class packages on this website. There are lots of unique workout classes if you live in a city that can get you thinking differently about fitness and make it fun for all types of interests! Consider finding a studio that offers :- aerial yoga- salsa lessons- kettlebell classes.

4. Organize a hike: with the beautiful fall colors and all the benefits of being outside in nature, now is the perfect time to get a group of friends together to go for a hike/picnic at a nearby trail. You can get your workout in while climbing the hill and your social media material with the view at the top. Do it for your mental and physical health or for the photo op.

5. Re-inspire yourself to create positive habits! If you need more reasons to move your body, have a listen to one of these great podcasts that will get you pumped to continue striving when the colder temperatures hit:

-Exercise as a Treatment for Depression: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/exercise-depression

-High Intensity Interval Training: http://www.hhpcast.com/2018/02/hit-high-intensity-interval-training-aka-no-pain-no-gain-episode-305/

-How to Get Started with Weight Training: https://mindpumppodcast.com/1112-how-to-get-started-with-weight-training/

-Dr. Bob Harding: Why This ER Doc Prescribes Strength Training:https://www.painfreestrongradio.com/pain-free-strong-radio/episode-55-dr-bob-harding-what-this-er-doc-prescribes-strength-training/

Author: Christina Holmquist

Christina finished a BSc with a major in Biology and minor in Psychology from Redeemer University College in 2016. Then, she went on to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where she will graduate with a Doctor of Naturopathy Degree in May 2020. She was the Co-Chair of Integrative Medicine on the Naturopathic Medical Student Association CCNM chapter for the 2017-18 school year.

Last year, she took on the role of President Elect for the NMSA CCNM chapter, working to support the president  in providing valuable resources and learning experiences through the NMSA and to further the naturopathic profession. Christina comes into the role of President of the CCNM chapter with an enthusiasm for all of the initiatives the NMSA will undertake to encourage student learning, positive experiences and the development of leaders in the naturopathic profession. Christina takes an avid interest in music, playing the cello, piano, and pipe organ as well as salsa dancing on a regular basis.

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