Esalen's First Yoga Teacher — Teaching yoga since 1968

Winter Workout: Your Daily Thing

By Pam Walatka
2 minute read

How important is exercise? Extremely.

I have heard there are persons who can maintain their health and sanity without exercising, but for most of us, exercise is as essential and fun as eating.

If you are fit, you understand the joy and necessity of exercise. Winter can severely challenge your exercise routine. Winter is dark and cold and wet.

  1. Develop a Daily Thing
  2. Have one exercise activity that you do every day, rain or shine. Or snow. It should last at least 20 minutes, elevate your heart rate, and be enjoyable.

    Walking, an excellent choice, is the Daily Thing for many people. Or running is good if your knees do not mind.

    Your Daily Thing can be whatever you want. The trick is to make it a mandatory part of your day, like brushing your teeth.

  3. Develop a support system for your Daily Thing
  4. When the people around you realize you are committed to your Daily Thing, they might encourage you and help you make time. A workout/walking buddy can be a great help.

    A dog will remind you when you need a walk.

    Keep the supplies you need handy. For example, if you are going to go for a walk rain or shine, keep boots, scarf, hat, and a raincoat in one place.

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    A dog will remind you
    when you need a walk.

  5. Look for ways to get extra exercise.
  6. In addition to your Daily Thing, look for other ways to move.

    Far Parking: when you park your car, find the farthest parking space in the lot.

    Kitchen/office slanting push ups: step back from your desk or a kitchen counter, put your hands on the edge, get your body in a straight line, and do push-ups while you are waiting for something.

    Dancing: While you are working around the house, turn on some music with a beat, and shake it shake it baby.

    Yard work. If you have a yard, you have yard work, even in winter. Look for energy-rich opportunities, like moving rocks and bricks, or pruning.

    Sports are fun and vigorous. Basketball, golf, snowboarding.

    The gym.

    If you do something vigorous for more than two hours, you can, in my opinion, skip your Daily Thing. Or, you could do it anyway.

  7. Find workouts online
  8. Look online for a routine you can do at home.

  9. If you are enrolled in an exercise class, keep it as a high priority.
  10. For some of us, having a class on the calendar is an incentive.

  11. Believe.
  12. Don't lose your faith that exercise makes you feel better.

  13. Be kind to your self and those around you
  14. Winter is hard. Even with exercise, you might feel down. Don't blame the cruelty of winter on your loved ones.

Please consult your doctor before staring an exercise routine.

Thanks to Rose Cates, Beth Van Eman, Cheryl Coe, and Lynne Bauer.

For a free online taste of yoga, see Yoga Class