Spectrum Healthcare Partners

Ice and snow 2019

Spring is on its way! Well, according to the calendar anyway. If you live here in Maine, you’ll be doubtful, for sure. It’s bitterly cold and everywhere I look, I see ice.

Any other time of year, the outdoors may beckon you to go out and run, walk, or hike. But for some people, winter may be a different story. In this guest post, John Turrell, wellness coordinator at the Greater Portland Branch, YMCA of Southern Maine, give us something to think about.

The winter months can be a difficult time for outdoor exercise, and many people lose their motivation. Cloudy days are common. Even when the sun is out, it’s low in the sky and sets early in the afternoon. The outdoors feels damp and cold. We have more incentive to curl up on the couch with a bright light and a book than to head outside.

A snowy winter is often more enticing. The sun reflecting off the white snow gives a sense of brightness. The snow also offers new types of fun exercise not available any other time of the year. But they’re not for everybody.

So how do we find the motivation to move during gloomy winter months? This may take some mental effort, but I have a few ideas.

We can always head to the gym. If you’re lucky, there’s also an indoor pool in your community. I may have a bias, but I’d check out the YMCA which offers great programs year round. We have group exercise classes and a pool for swimming. We also have cardio and strength exercise equipment.

Man watching winter sunset

Another option is to view winter as a time for contemplation exercise. All the other seasons offer us outdoor visual excitement to keep us entertained.  Now is a good time to turn our mental focus inward and contemplate the meaning of life ideas.

While jogging, walking, or hiking, we can contemplate all that we are thankful for in our lives. We can then plan positive and meaningful activities we would like to accomplish in our future.

However and wherever you do it, keeping our bodies moving is important. It not only promotes our physical health, but it’s also good for our mental well-being. ¬†Adding contemplation to our routine helps keep us aware of our progress through life. And that’s good for the soul!

Guest post by John Turrell, Wellness Coordinator, Greater Portland Branch, YMCA of Southern Maine.