Working out in the winter can be hard with the change in weather resulting in less opportunities to be comfortably active outside. Since many gyms are still closed due to the pandemic and others have limited hours, students have turned to different ways to stay active.
Stella Zodet, a sophomore chemistry major, normally works out in the morning. Zodet tries to go for a walk every day for about 45 minutes.
“With online learning, I’m not walking between classes, [so] I try to get some fresh air between my classes,” Zodet said. Her workout routine changes slightly in the winter. In the mornings, if it is not too cold, she tries to go on a short run. She doesn’t workout less in the winter, but does more strength training instead of HIIT workouts.
“Normally if I went to the gym I would [take] a workout class and think less about what workout I am doing,” Zodet said. During the pandemic, she has been following YouTuber Sydney Cummings . Cummings uploads new workout videos every day at 5 a.m. The videos are set up so you can work out with her every day and she focuses on a different body part each day of the week. She has noticed that she has gotten stronger from following the videos.
Nancy Zhou, a fifth-year biology major, is a fitness instructor at the university. This semester she teaches dance fit and barre classes. She tries to workout four to five times a week.
It was a bit difficult for her to workout before school started. During quarantine she would do workouts with the weights she had at home and review her old fitness class material.
Zhou doesn’t find it harder to workout in the winter since she really enjoys working out. For her it is a way to release stress. “Workout with your friends to keep each other accountable and make it [more] fun,” Zhou suggests.
In the winter, make sure to warm up your muscles to decrease the chance of injury and to stay hydrated. Jessica Lou, a junior marketing and information systems systems major, tries to workout every day. She works out to destress, similarly to Zhou. Lou said it helps her mental health and makes her feel better. She also uses YouTube videos to stay active. In the winter she finds it slightly harder to workout. When it is colder, she doesn't like to move and breath in the drier air. Lou gets cold easily and has more motivation when the weather is warmer.
Kevin Yang, the coordinator for fitness staff at the university, notices fewer students working out in the RecWell facilities towards the end of the fall semester.
The cold weather can make people more lethargic during the winter, along with the added stress of exams and holiday resulting in people being less active, Yang said. People like the feeling of "starting new," and the winter sometimes feels like the end, so people push off working out until January or February, Yang said.
Yang admits that even he finds it harder to train in the winter due to the cold weather and an irregular holiday schedule. He suggests moving around every day to stay active in the winter even if it is just taking the stairs or doing chores around the house, as little movements can add up over time.
“Working out doesn’t have to be an hour-long group fitness class or workout,” Yang said. On staying COVID safe, Yang suggests if students are hesitant to go to the gym, they should look for online videos. UMD has a fitness youtube page with recorded classes and workouts.