A Run for Your Money

The cost of cold-weather workout gear < $150
The cost of a good trainer < $35 a session
The cost of sticking to your New Year resolution to lose weight and get fit = priceless

It is the time of year when we all start considering what New Year resolutions to make. For thousands of people those resolutions will include dropping pounds, lowering cholesterol or becoming fit. What this also means is that being at gym in January can be what some might consider, a Charlie foxtrot, with people crowding the indoor track, lines for the elliptical, over enthusiastic aerobics instructors and sweat puddles forming in random places because someone forgot to wipe off the equipment when they were done. No wonder people quit coming to the gym before the end of January! Who wants to commit to a year of crowded, smelly, noisy and sometimes sticky workouts?

The question: How do you stick to your healthy New Year resolutions without the gym?

The answer: Buy some warm clothes, get a trainer and clear a spot in your calendar.

If you prefer the outdoors, like to work out in peace and prefer to go at your own pace, consider all of the outdoor activities that you already like to do or would like to try and then bundle up. The money that you spend at the gym can be redirected towards buying the essentials for cold-weather workouts—good shoes, lots of layers and a great trainer.

The right foot apparel is crucial to your success. Keep your feet warm and adequately supported. If your feet are happy, then your body will be happy too, and you will decrease possible injuries from ill-fitting shoes. Whether you are running, walking or skiing, rely on the experts at any quality sporting goods store or outdoor apparel shop to outfit you with the right gear. A few things to consider before beginning your shopping for the best footwear.

  1. Know the kind of terrain on which you will work out. This is important in considering the soles of the shoes and ensuring good traction when your foot makes contact with the ground, ice or snow.
  2. Find out whether you supinate (roll onto the outside of your foot when it strikes the ground) or whether you pronate (roll into the arch of your foot when it strikes the ground). This is important in considering the support of the shoe and ensuring that you workout in proper form, which ultimately reduces the risk of an overuse injury from being ill-equipped. If you do not know your striking pattern, consider going to a store that will do a running consultation, like the Running Company (http://www.erunningcompany.com/) in Broadripple. It is worth spending extra money on the right footwear.
  3. Buy shoes with less mesh to keep moisture out and buy socks that wick to pull moisture (sweat) away from your feet.

Even in cold weather you will sweat when you workout. Layers of synthetic fibers will also help you stay warm and dry. The layer closest to your body should be tighter and synthetic so that the sweat gets pulled (wicked) away from your body. All common name brands (Under Armor, Nike, Reebok, Adidas) have a version of running tights for your upper and lower body. Less expensive options can be found at Target and Wal-Mart. The outer layers should be something that prevents moisture from reabsorbing towards the body and should be something that blocks the wind. Fleece is a great option for this. If you spent a lot of money on shoes, then find the style of clothing that you like best and shop around for off-brand selections, sales and lower-priced clothing items.

A Good Trainer
Once appropriately outfitted, spend the remainder of the money you originally earmarked for the gym on a knowledgeable personal trainer. You can still get all of the benefits of a great gym workout outside. A trainer will design effective workouts that are fun and engaging. Your trainer can also put together a program plan to keep you safe and active between training sessions.

Now that you look great in your outdoor workout gear and you have someone to kick your butt into shape you have no excuse but to keep your training appointments and drop the pounds. Take advantage of the Resolution Revolution special to help you stay on track with your health and wellness goals in 2010.

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