Training during the winter can be difficult for those who wish to stay in shape during the cold months of the year. With inhibiting low temperatures and snow covering the ground, options for exercising are limited. Many athletes depend upon particular skills to get them through the spring season, so it is critical to keep on top of said skills to increase their likelihood of being successful when their season begins.
As an athlete who participates in crew, it is impossible to practice at the river during the winter. Without continuous practice and exercise, my teammates and I would lose all of our strength and endurance. Through determination and unique workout methods, we still were able to return back to the water for the spring season stronger than ever.
With workouts such as erging, cycling and weightlifting, our fitness was not only maintained but built drastically upon. Erging, which is much like the motions of rowing, allowed for the team to stay comfortable with the movements of rowing, while also gaining strength and endurance. Another frequent workout was running up and down the three flights of stairs in the school multiple times, allowing us to keep up our agility. We also spent long periods of time running, but due to snow covering the ground, we frequently did this on treadmills. Occasionally, we would even run laps around the second floor of the school or run large laps around the cafeteria. Although it may not be practical, it was quite convenient and still allowed us to get the exercise we needed.
Heading into the season, it is essential to know what to invest in when putting money towards different training options. More specifically, many indoor facilities are available to train for a variety of sports such as soccer, lacrosse or baseball. Although these typically have a large price tag , such programs are offered for groups, individuals, or as classes. Acquiring a personal trainer is another smart investment; by having someone stay on top of the individual’s fitness and provide the athlete with workout plans, one can make sure his or her fitness is properly monitored. Purchasing exercise equipment can also prove to be helpful. With the tools athletes need in their possession, they can exercise at any given time in the comfort of their own home in any type of weather.
Winter does not only have downsides; it provides athletes with the time to participate in activities not as convenient during other times of the year. In particular, skiing, snowboarding and ice skating are popular activities that are usually only available during the colder seasons. As sports that do not need previous experience to participate, individuals from any skill level can enjoy them.
Furthermore, it is beneficial to switch up the routine an athlete is used to. Winter provides the option to try out new activities that may not have been as prominent before, such as dance or yoga. Because most spend the warmer months practicing outdoors, being pushed indoors provides athletes with the perfect opportunity to go to a weight room. As most locations are situated inside, weightlifting is often ideal for those who are unable to practice in the cold.
Nonetheless, if the athlete decides to still exercise in the outdoors, it is essential to wear protective clothing in order to get a proper workout. Wearing layers is a convenient way to stay warm and remain comfortable. By being warm, athletes can get their blood flowing, which prevents the complications that arise when muscles become stiff due the the cold.
The process of staying in shape can be simple, if an athlete or team creates a plan and sticks to it. By planning ahead, he or she can set their long term goals for the spring. As always, consistency is key. However, it is essential to mix up your routine to get the most out of your workouts. With a creative mindset and dedication to staying fit, all are capable of maintaining their own fitness in any condition. As long as the individual keeps moving and stays active, maintaining fitness during the winter can the same as any other season of the year.
Graphic: Juliette Bergantino