Keep Fit: Airing Your Winter Workout Grievances

Merry Christmas, Dan’s Papers readers!

With weather that begs days indoors by the fire and copious quantities of holiday treats at your disposal, it’s easy to lose motivation to get outside and be active in the wintertime. But if your New Year’s resolution has something to do with living a healthier lifestyle, or if you’re the anytime-is-outdoors-time kind of person, then winter on the East End provides ample opportunities.

The recent cold snap and pathological darkness has prompted me to take my fitness activities indoors, and I’m taking advantage of Lululemon East Hampton “12 Days of Sweat” campaign. They began offering daily, complimentary fitness classes headed by a teacher from various East End studios and gyms in their upstairs loft on December 12. The sweating doesn’t stop until Christmas Eve Eve (a.k.a. Festivus). But not even the chilly temps can steer me away from the Ugly Sweater Run, which caps off the campaign on December 23, just in time to get you feeling good for Christmas.

After the holidays, Lululemon East Hampton will continue to periodically offer free, in-store community fitness events. Check out their Facebook page for additional info.

Next on my list of winter activities to try this year is the under-appreciated skiing activities on the East End. Yes, skiing. Montauk has a high density of state parks, providing ample opportunity to cross-country ski. Camp Hero State Park, Shadmoor State Park, Montauk State Park and Hither Hills State Park all encompass skiing trails.

On weekends, I try to take advantage of the daylight hours by running outside. Despite the well-below-average temperatures we’ve been experiencing, cold-weather running is not only possible, it’s a proven way to get over the “winter blues” that come with the shorter days. The key is to dress appropriately and to take the proper precautions before heading out. Dress in layers, and wear breathable fabrics. The danger with wearing heavy items is that sweat can dry and act as a cooling agent, but dressing in layers allows you to add and remove clothes as necessary. A waterproof and windproof outer shell is best, especially for running by the breezy East End beaches.

As the holidays are prime time to give back, a new app makes it possible to log miles while donating to your favorite charity. Charity Miles is a free phone app that allows you to earn corporate sponsorships for various charities whenever you walk, run or bike. As you get moving, the app tracks your distance and sponsors donate money to your selected charity. Runners and walkers earn 25 cents for every mile completed; bikers earn 10 cents. As of right now, it’s only possible to use the app outside, where a GPS can track your mileage, but the app is schedule to soon work indoors with treadmills and stationary bikes. You can choose to donate the ASPCA, Autism Speaks, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Stand Up to Cancer, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, The Nature Conservancy or Wounded Warrior Project, among others.

Walkers can join the Southampton Trails Preservation Society and East Hampton Trails Preservation Society on their weekly hikes.

Of course, in the midst of holiday do-gooding, don’t forget to celebrate the most time-honored of December traditions: Festivus. I’ve been thinking about how people have disappointed me by preparing for the Airing of Grievances all year. I’m not yet sure who will compete in the Feats of Strength, but maybe I’ll be properly prepared after all of this holiday working out…

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