Lessons Learned From A Snow Day

January 14, 2011

1.  Don’t stay up later than usual. Our recent Snowmageddon was predicted a few days in advance. Before the kids got out of school Tuesday, school was canceled for Wednesday so, unlike many snow days, we knew we wouldn’t have to wake up at six am to check the website to answer the age old questions; “Do we? Or do we not have to go to school?” So I went to the library and checked out the maximum number of DVDs that one person is allowed and returned home to begin our movie marathon. (Best of the pick-Slumdog Millionaire; Runner-up; Book of Eli). My reasoning for staying up until midnight was flawed, even though my motivation was not- I rationalized that Snow Days are perfect for bucking our usual routine and doing what we usually don’t. Fair enough. Where I went wrong was thinking that I’d be able to sleep in past 6:07am. You see, my body was capable of sleeping in; it’s just that no one told my eyelids, who automatically popped open at 6:07am, despite how little sleep the rest of my body parts needed. Lesson Learned.

2. Have a Non-Negotiable Bare Minimum Plan

Brushing your teeth is on my non-negotiable list  (although my friend Betty, from my gym did tell me that she always brushes her teeth at the gym and that because she didn’t come to the gym, she didn’t brush her teeth at all on Wednesday. Come on, People.) Walking the dog is another one. It’s raining like hell? Too bad. Get the leash let’s go. Seventeen  inches of snow? No problem. As soon as I get the pitiful “it’s time for my walk, isn’t it?” look from Winnie, we get our boots and head out. “Nuff said.

A snow storm does have the potential, like all other schedule changes, to seriously derail a solid fitness plan.  For those of you who are getting results, stop and think hard about what you can do in order to guarantee that this major change in your schedule doesn’t keep you from getting to your goals.

3. Take a Shower

It’s tempting to skip it. But if you do, you’ll feel more like yourself.

4.If you like a bit of muscle soreness, go ahead and shovel too much. Otherwise, get the kids to do it

4a. Warm up before you start shoveling I’m convinced that the reason so many people get stiff from shoveling is because they go from sitting on the couch in PJ’s to throwing on their snow gear and immediately digging in. With the heavy snowfall from this past week, this can be really too much, too soon. Next time, prior to putting on your snow gloves and picking up the shovel, do some squats, some walking lunges and most importantly some planks and some crunches to wake up the abs (the abs are the opposite muscle group to the spine so if your core is firing then you less apt to strain your back)

5.If you are the type to start drizzling fat gravy over your loaded nachos just because you are off your routine, Have A Non-Negotiable Snow Day Workout Plan that you can do anywhere. Even stranded at the airport. Or in your mother-in-laws spare bedroom. What would that look like?


500 moving squats (or jog in place for 20 minutes or run 2 miles if you can)

400 jumping jacks

300 walking and/or reverse lunges (tapping your knees on the ground ya’ll)

200 crunches

100 pushups (okay, maybe not 100, just do as many good form push-ups as you can)

Weather is never within our control. Our jobs are often outside our control. Idiots are always driving the car directly in front of us. But our body is almost always within our control.

If you get a workout in not only will you feel better but it can also still be a great day. Controlling your body puts you back in control of your life. And as a local female weather forecaster recently mentioned, seventeen inches of anything is too much. We need all the help we can muster to stay on track to reach of our fitness goals.

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