Arts & Entertainment

Fit in Falls Church: Getting Exercise Despite Winter Weather Woes

Staying active during the winter months has always been a challenge for me. After all, I have always been the kind of person who is more prone to spend time channel surfing over going on hikes, even when the weather is good! As part of my ongoing efforts to lose weight and get my health back on track, however, I have tried to embrace running and outdoor walks as a means of getting some fresh air and upping my activity level.

With the 60-degree temperatures that have been hitting the Washington, D.C. area lately, I haven’t found myself facing the winter-exercising blues quite yet. As we continue to dive into the colder months, however, the idea of braving freezing temperatures for that daily walk or biweekly run is becoming less and less appealing. January is barely over though, so that New Year’s resolution to get in shape shouldn’t be getting dusty quite yet! There are plenty of ways to stay active and healthy without sacrificing your immune system. Here are a few of my tips:

1. Schedule.
You probably already use a calendar to keep track of important things like meetings and appointments, so why not extend that to your workout schedule? In addition to ensuring you don’t overbook your schedule (because let’s be honest, given a choice between happy hour and an hour at the gym, what are you more likely to pick?), firmly blocking off time to exercise will help you stick to your guns and follow through with it.

2. Adapt.
You may be one of the many who became a January Joiner at the gym, and thus are already well positioned to move your fitness activities indoors. If you don’t have a membership, now may be the time to consider getting one. There are also many at-home exercises programs and videos that may be worth looking into. Jillian Michaels has several DVDs that are targeted towards varied levels of fitness, and there are intense programs like P90X for those brave enough to try it as well.
If you are a steadfast outdoor-exerciser then you probably already know that winter workouts are completely reasonable. Simply check the weather forecast ahead of time, be sure to dress in layers, and tread a little more carefully.

3. Try new things.
Being forced to adjust your exercise routine due to the changing weather certainly doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Use the proverbial wrench that has been thrown into your regular routine as an opportunity to branch out and try new things! Falls Church is privy to several exercise studios boasting everything from Jazzercise to Hot Yoga. Check out the Parks & Recreation listings for Pilates, or sign up for that Zumba class you’ve always wanted to try. Now is the time for experimenting!

These are just some of the ways to fight against the lethargic temptation of the sofa this winter. Most importantly, just try to remember that regardless of whatever way it happens, staying active means staying healthy.

 Gretchen Powell is a fitness and healthy living blogger in Falls Church. She is not a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or medical doctor, and a medical professional should be consulted before undertaking dramatic diet changes. For more about Powell’s weight-loss journey, visit