Tap Into Health: More movement | SteamboatToday.com

Tap Into Health: More movement

Vanessa Cory
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

If you typically forgo hitting the slopes, winter can be a challenging time to stay active.

With low temperatures, icy walkways and less daylight, it’s easy to skip many of the activities that come so naturally in summer. However, remaining active is critical to your health.

“A body at rest stays at rest,” said Joanne Orce, personal trainer and fitness instructor at Old Town Hot Springs. “Without even realizing it, you start to form habits, and it can be challenging to get going again. Consistency throughout the seasons is key.”

The Mayo Clinic recommends that most healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, plus strength training at least two times per week. These activities can be spread out into small chunks throughout the week, and you might be surprised how easy it is to incorporate moderate exercise into your day, even in the height of winter.

“Rather than trying to develop a new habit, take an existing habit and add a new component to it,” said Darrel Levingston, a personal trainer at Old Town Hot Springs. “For example, you brush your teeth twice a day already, so start to balance on one foot while brushing your teeth.”

It’s easy to incorporate balance into your daily activities; make sure you spend the same amount of time on each foot, as we tend to prefer one foot over the other. Better yet, when you are cooking dinner, take out some canned foods or water bottles and use them as strength training weights while you prepare your meal.

Orce recommends you schedule active time every day. Whether that is shoveling snow off your driveway, walking up and down the stairs to do laundry, following along to a chair yoga class on YouTube, scheduling a walk with a friend on the Yampa River Core Trail (but don’t forget your Yaktrax) or attending an aquatic exercise class at Old Town Hot Springs, plan for it in advance.

Moderate exercise is easier to achieve than you might think.

“Don’t worry about tracking heartbeats per minute, as there is a simple way to tell if you are moving at a moderate pace,” Levingston said. “Recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or something similar, while moving, and if you can still speak in a full sentence without catching your breath, that’s the sweet spot.”

Need some more inspiration to get going? Here is what the Old Town Hot Springs fitness team recommends:

• Stretching every day: Yoga is a perfect winter activity, and stretching is the key to injury prevention. Start slow chair yoga and tai chi.

• Snowshoeing around the Howelsen Hill Ski Area track

• Walk the indoor track at Old Town Hot Springs. The weather is always perfect inside.

• Resistance training with bands, TRX or body weight exercises

• Try out the new rowing machines at Old Town Hot Springs. It’s a tremendous strength-building exercise, and it is easy on the knees.

• Sign up for an aquatic fitness class like Fit 4 Life or H2O Deep at Old Town Hot Springs. The warm water is delightful in the winter, and the resistance of the water is excellent for mobility, balance and strength building.

• Don’t forget about Old Town Hot Springs’ Smart Start Orientation, where you will get a tour of the fitness facility and learn the basics of how to use the weight machines and cardio equipment.

Moving your body every day is critical to heart health, blood circulation, muscle tone, flexibility, aerobic capacity, joint mobility, balance, bone density, joint lubrication and joint strength.

As Lisa Palmiotto, fitness director at Old Town Hot Spring, always says: “More movement is better than less movement.” This winter, let’s all pledge to move more.

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