Do you smell what I smell in the air? That’s Winter, friends, and though we can all lament southwest Ohio’s overall lack of Fall 2018, we must face the fact that my car read 29 degrees outside this morning. I love winter, and if it could snow until March, I would be thrilled. You also may know by now that I love running. I can’t say that I love running in the winter. In fact, unless it is 90 degrees outside, I am most assuredly feeling cold, so when it is 30 degrees, I hit the ground sprinting the first mile just to warm up as fast as possible. A good PT brain would tell me that that is a recipe for a pulled muscle, but it seems that at those temps, my PT brain goes cold and primal instinct kicks in instead.
(Hang in there, this isn’t one more post about running.)
At my family’s lake house a few summers ago, we adopted the phrase, “Whatever moves you.” Perhaps a close relative to the more mainstream, “Do you, boo”, the phrase was meant to give each one of us permission to spend our time at the lake house however we individually chose. (I suppose it effectively justified 4/5 members still being out on the lake at our 3:30 departure time during our last day of vacation while my mom was cleaning toilets, but I digress.)
I have been thinking about “whatever moves you” quite a bit in relation to the impending cold temperatures. I get frustrated with myself when I deem it too cold to run. But do you know what I will brave the cold for? Snow skiing. Ice skating. (Sports that all make me far more sore than running, actually.) And if I am going to be inside exercising, nothing sounds better than a toasty hot yoga session.
When spring rolls around, the ice and snow on the slopes has melted and the last place I want to be is in in a 92 degree room, I roll my bike back out, lace up my running shoes, or get back out on the lake to ski.
My point? Sports are sports. Activity is activity. Recently, there has been research regarding how dangerous it is for youth and adolescent athletes to specialize in one particular sport due to certain muscle groups getting dangerously overused (not to mention mental burn-out), and I believe it is the same for adults. We should be multi-faceted with our fitness. Certainly, there are going to be activities that you enjoy more than others, and some activities may test your strength more and others may tax your cardiovascular system more, but variety is good.
Seasons give us a ready-made excuse to change up our activities, and if you have not guessed it yet, I am talking about the weather-related seasons as well as the seasons of life. If where you are at right now does not lend itself to a certain activity, don’t fight it. Find a sport that suits where you are at in your life at this time, and don’t let yourself be burdened by what you don’t feel like or have time for doing. When it comes to physical fitness, do whatever moves you and be content knowing that you are doing something to make yourself physically healthy.