Krystina Perez spends her time outside in the summer running, swimming, rock climbing and longboarding. However, as the months turn colder, students like Perez may feel unmotivated to step out into inclement weather to exercise.
A poll conducted by Gallup Healthways showed Americans are exercising more each year, but there is approximately a 6 percent drop in respondents who say they exercise regularly in the beginning of summer versus the beginning of winter.
BYU exercise and wellness major Perez has a workout routine for indoors and outdoors during the winter, but she prefers staying inside.
“I work out indoors during winter. I stick to the gym and if there is no ice outside I’ll wear a jacket and run outside,” Perez said. “It’s pretty miserable though, so I like to stick to the gym.”
Personal trainer at the Provo Recreation Center Joe Davis said he feels everyone is inclined to stay inside to keep warm when it gets colder outside. He urges people to take advantage of indoor facilities, including gym equipment, cardio machines and workout classes.
“You can do Zumba, TRX classes, those kind of fun things that keep you moving, jogging in place,” Davis said.
Personal trainer in Utah County Lisa Boucher said it isn’t difficult for a person to transition their traditionally outdoor workout to indoors.
“If you like to run, there are plenty of great options for treadmills,” Boucher said. “The same is true for cycling — there’s usually a pretty good variety of stationary bikes or spin bikes available at most gyms.”
Individuals who prefer exercising outside are advised by Boucher to take certain precautions to make their workout safe and enjoyable. She suggested dressing in layers, wearing sports clothes to wick sweat away and wearing trail running shoes, especially on uneven terrain.
“When running, set your pace a bit slower than the warmer snow-free months,” Boucher said. “Be cautious and aware that you could be running over slippery patches.”
Boucher also encouraged individuals to take advantage of winter sports not available in the warmer seasons, such as snowshoeing, skiing and ice skating.
She cautioned individuals not to let the cold deter them from being active. Boucher said exercise has many physical benefits, including fighting off holiday weight gain during the winter and keeping individuals from getting sick.
“Exercise strengthens the immune system, which helps us fight off colds and other viruses that are so rampant during the winter months,” Boucher said. “Exercise can also help with seasonal depression which affects so many people during the cold winter months.”
Perez said it’s important to exercise because it “releases endorphins, and with less sun time during the cold and dark winter months we need these endorphins to help us be and stay happy.”