As winter creeps in, it’s tough to battle the urge to snuggle up with a blanket, sleep in a little later or hit the sack a bit earlier, skipping or skimming on that dedicated gym time. You might even be deterred from leaving the warmth of your house for that early-morning walk or jog.
But those are excuses. There is no reason your winter workout can’t be just as fierce as any other time of the year. Without the pressure of swimsuit season looming right around the corner, the colder months are a perfect time to set yourself on a reasonable timeline to work your way into the shape you want–and combat those holiday pounds before they even start.
Of course, you can do this on your own. But for those who want or need that extra motivation, there are programs, groups and gyms to help you meet those goals all winter long.
Fleet Feet Winter 2013 Training Programs: Fleet Feet is much more than a running store, made apparent by their high-attendance training programs. They train more than 1,000 athletes annually and the Cold Feet program alone draws 60 to 100 people per week.
The Cold Feet program, which begins Sunday, Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m., at the East Syracuse location, 5800 Bridge St., focuses on taking people outside for cold-weather runs, crushing the myth that outdoor training isn’t possible in less-friendly months. Distances include three-, five- or nine-mile runs and an incentive system, prizes and refreshments help motivate participants.
The FFXT (Fleet Feet X-Training) program (starting Monday, Dec. 2, 5:45 p.m.) is a 10-week strength-conditioning course for athletes to improve cardiovascular fitness. It’s not a running program, but it’s perfect for runners, triathletes and any active individuals.
Triathletes are a rare breed: They enjoy punishment in running, swimming and biking. The Winter Tri program (beginning Tuesday, Dec. 3) is for those looking to improve in all of those areas.
Other programs include the NoBo2 (starting Nov. 30, 9 a.m.), which preps runners for the Couch Potato 5K on Feb. 2, and the Winter Half/Full Marathon (Wednesday, Jan. 1, 5:45 p.m.), which will help pump up those who want to compete in those running challenges in a healthy way. For more information, visit: fleetfeetsyracuse.com/training. Fleet Feet has the East Syracuse location (446-1444) and the new Clay outlet, 4136 State Route 31 (622-2215).
YMCA Programs: On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 5 p.m., the downtown YMCA, 340 Montgomery St., will host a Healthy Living Expo where attendees can see all the programs and facilities the downtown Y has to offer. For those who live and/or work near downtown, the many classes and programs offered can fit around busy schedules.
Also check out the Y’s winter programs, which offer something for every type of athlete: boxing, adult basketball leagues, water fitness, aqua Zumba, youth and adult karate, running (indoor and outdoor), group fitness (cycling, yoga, Zumba, Pilates and more), triathlon training and family sports nights. For more information, call 474-6851 or visit syracuse.ymca.org.
Salt City CrossFit: The secret to weight loss never boils down to just one factor. It’s a combination of diet, exercise and overall lifestyle. However, a major part of whipping your body into shape simply requires a change in routine. If you go to the gym every day, lift the same weights, jog the same miles and still wonder why the scale stays the same, Salt City CrossFit, 210 W. Division St., presents a great way to introduce your body to a new workout style.
Cross Fit offers programs for beginners as well as upper levels and has classes including their traditional CrossFit class and a Six-Week Shred as well as strength and nutritional workshops. The programs use familiar exercises, albeit with high-intensity reps and group motivation, so participants get pushed to the next level. Squats, dead-lifts, pushups and sit-ups combine in a way that shocks your body out of mundane routines, improving strength, flexibility, endurance and cardio while fat is traded for muscle.
For more information on their programs and times, call 314-7595 or visit: saltcitycrossfit.com.