Winter Fit is a series where I interview Canadian fitness/outdoors bloggers and get a first hand look into how they stay fit and motivated during the long cold winter months.
This week, we’re talking to Bri from Run Lift Yoga. She has it a little easier than the rest of us living on the Island as their winters are milder, but it can’t be easy to be motivated in the rainy season!
I’m an endurance sport and fitness junkie who loves to explore the great outdoors in my hometown on beautiful Vancouver Island, BC with my wiener dog Indiana Jones. By day I work in communications for the government (desk jockey), but by night I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and freelance fitness writer. I also have a blog (runliftyoga.com) where I write about training for marathons, triathlons and ultra marathons.
Where do you live and what are your winters like?
I’m pretty spoiled to live on Vancouver Island. We hardly ever get snow and the temperatures rarely drop below zero. From November to March, the weather here is dark, rainy and gloomy. Since we’re at sea level, we west coasters experience something we call “cold to the bone” — where you can’t really get warm no matter how many layers you wear. It’s like a wet cold. Not the greatest for running, but better than snow and 40 below!
What are your go-to activities?
In the winter, I usually run twice a week – once during the week in the morning and once on the weekend when it’s light. I also hike a lot, and do strength training in the morning in the comfort of my home :)
How do stay motivated in the dark, gloomy winter months to stick to a fitness routine?
Winter is my “basic strength” building season, so I do four upper/lower split strength training routines indoors at home. I find that easy to stick to, as I don’t have to go outside! I usually mix in plyo and circuits to get some cardio in, and keep up my running fitness with a few short runs and hikes on the weekend. I like to think of it as prepping for another season of summer races.
Do you do any winter activities?
I head to the mountains to snowboard once a year, but since we don’t get snow here my activities are pretty much the same as they are in the summer (with less running and no outdoor swimming, of course).
Do you have a healthy comfort food recipe to share?
My easy-as-hell- turkey chili recipe!
- 1lbs lean ground turkey
- 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Large can of mixed beans
- 500ml or so of salsa
- 1 cup v8 juice
- Whatever veggies you fancy
Add the olive oil to a large pot, heat to medium and cook onions and ground turkey until turkey is cooked thoroughly. As the meat is cooking, cook whatever veggies you want to add (I usually do kale, zucchini, peppers and mushrooms) in a separate pan with olive oil (or steamed if you want to make it even healthier!). When both are cooked, add the veggies to the meat, stir for about a minute then dump in the beans, salsa and V8 juice. Simmer on med-low, stirring occasionally until it’s warm enough to eat!
What advice would you give for someone struggling to get up and moving during the winter when hibernation mode sets in?
Set up a little home gym – all you need are a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat, a pull up bar, resistance band and maybe a stool or step box. That way you can roll out of bed and workout before you even know what you’re doing! You can also use free YouTube workout videos or DVDs for your cardio. Winter is a great time for strength training, which doesn’t require you to go outside. Think of it as your “building” phase to prepare you for when the weather warms up and the layers come off again :)