Keep Fit: Arctic Blasts Bring Indoor Workouts

Indoor workouts work in winter
Photo: Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Thinkstock

Bundle up, Hamptonites. The Polar Vortex is back, and the frigid air seems to infiltrate every aspect of our lives. What’s the best way to stay warm?

Working out.

I went to Iceland in late June, and loved how the sun never set. With darkness now coming just after 5 p.m., I’m finding myself in a completely different fitness pattern than I held during the summer. Seven o’clock used to be prime stand-up paddleboarding time on Mecox Bay, but now it seems like a totally appropriate time to put on my pajamas and sit comatose in front of the television for the rest of the evening. With a glass of wine, of course.

A few weeks ago, I was not only disenchanted with the waning daylight, but I was also freezing all the time, especially when going to bed. I was bundled under blankets, wearing flannel pajamas and wool socks, but my feet were especially chilled.

The solution: Work out more. Being active increases blood flow and circulation, making it easier to stay warm even when you’re not working out (i.e. when you’re trying to go to sleep).

Though I think about running all the time, the truth is that the threat of black ice and the darkness after work often keep me off the roads, so my fitness routine is typically confined to the weekends.

I’ve tried to be more conscientious about attending indoor classes. Specifically, I’ve found a home at Well Within Studio in East Hampton, newly opened on Springs Fireplace Road. The classes are late enough to allow me to get there after working a full day. I’ve been attending candlelight yoga, which is an hour and a half of stretching, strengthening and relaxation every Monday. The physical and mental benefits make it a great way to start the week.

What I’ve come to realize is that in addition to allowing me to stay active during the warmer months, yoga is also an amazing to ignite positive thinking. Few people look forward to Mondays, but having a recurring yoga class on my schedule has made the day much more enjoyable, as class serves as a reminder that the week is full of possibilities.

Because of the pending blizzard, I decided to attend class on Sunday this week instead of Monday. As I went through the motions of vinyasa flow, it occurred to me that I actually believed the positive mantras I’ve been reciting each week. Though I’ve always enjoyed class, I actually felt strong, as opposed to uncoordinated, as I went through the motions.

Sunday’s session was about staying grounded. With the pending snow storm, it was easy to feel anxious about all of the things that were out of our control, especially if we were confined to our homes without creature comforts for who-knows-how-long. But the snowstorm can be a metaphor for life. No matter how much planning you put into an activity or idea, there are always curveballs that you have to field.

I’ve always been a fairly upbeat person, but I have to work to make the days not blend into each other in the wintertime. I try to set and keep to goals, no matter how large or small, to continue to stay driven.

One of my goals is to attend yoga classes at least once a week. And, if a storm prevents me from doing that, there’s always practicing at home.


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