3 Ways to Stay Fit for Free Over Winter
Ray Smith
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2023

3 Ways to Stay Fit for Free Over Winter

Snow and bitter temperatures can make exercising outdoors unpleasant or even impossible. But before you decide to take a few months off, consider what physical therapist and performance specialist Robin Dufour has to say.

A body in motion is healthier and happier
The owner of the beFIT Company in Williamstown, MA, Dufour says, “Physical inactivity negatively impacts not just your physical health but also your emotional health. Exercise is the magic pill—it’s low risk and high reward. There is nothing else that reduces the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression while building strength, better balance, and posture.”

Dufour appreciates that finding time and ways to exercise can be a challenge, especially during the winter months, but she emphasizes, “There are ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine that don’t require joining a gym or, in some cases, even leaving your home.”

 

Three free winter workout options

1. 10 in 10
Recognizing that not everyone has hour-long stretches of time to dedicate to exercise, Dufour developed a series of free, online videos called “10 in 10.”

“These are quick 10-minute workouts featuring 10 movements each,” she explains. “They cover different muscle groups and goals like your core, shoulders, posture, and balance. They don’t require any special equipment and can be done indoors. The idea is you squeeze one in wherever you are when you have ten minutes. Once you’ve done one, it becomes a little easier to find time for a second or even a third.”

To access 30+ different video options, visit befitcompany.com, and click on FREE RESOURCES tab. Or look for her channel, Robin Dufour, on YouTube.

2. Walking
Dufour notes that walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. “For the biggest benefit, mix up your walking a bit. Take 10 long strides, then resume normal pace. Reach overhead for 10-20 paces or speed up your pace for 10-20 paces. This variation will get your heart rate up, stretch things out, and help strengthen your core.” She adds, “If it’s safe to walk outside, do it. Your body will adapt to the cold rather quickly. Layer up to help keep heat in—a synthetic underlayer to wick away moisture, a warm midlayer like fleece or wool, and a light outershell to protect from wind and precipitation.” But if conditions don’t permit going outdoors, consider one of the indoor venues available locally.

3. Snowshoeing
We live here so why not make the most of it? Snowshoeing is an excellent low-impact aerobic exercise that can be enjoyed alone or in the company of others. Plus, numerous locations in our area offer free snowshoe loans.

Whether you choose to exercise indoors or outside, the most important thing is to stay active. Your entire body will benefit from it.

Where to walk inside

Vermont:
Bennington
Bennington Sports Center | 230 School St. | 802-442-1053

Massachusetts:
Williamstown
Towne Field House | 24 Latham Street | 413-597-2366

New York:
Cambridge
Cambridge Central School | 24 Park Street | 518-677-2653 x1010

Hoosick Falls
Hoosick Armory | 80 Church Street | info@hoosickarmory.com
Hoosick Falls Central School | 21187 NY 22 |  518-686-1500

Where to borrow snowshoes

Vermont:
Bennington
Bennington Free Library | 802-442-9051
John G. McCullough Free Library | 802-447-7121

Wilmington
Pettee Memorial Library | 802-464-8557

Massachusetts:
Williamstown
Clark Art Institute | 413-458-2303

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