Rainy Day Exercise Blues? 8 Ideas to Keep You Moving and Grooving

Author: Justine Cosman, PT, DPT : Doctor of Physical Therapy, Business Owner, Associate Professor, and Blog Contributor. Explores common client questions and helps find solutions for every day functional health concerns, and then some. Loves empowering others, seeking adventure, and learning every day. Learn more about Justine on Google+.

One of the most frequent concerns during the Portland rainy season seems to be that the cold, wind and/or rain will keep people from being out and active. I understand that the weather is not the most desirable all the time, but, for the most part, it is mild and we are free from harsher winter weathers consisting of much more snow and ice. A frequent adage that I find to be true most of the time is that “if you wait 10 minutes, the weather will change.” Of course, this is not always enough to get people out the door if they have always been opposed to this season. Luckily, you don’t have to fight mother nature and there are alternative ways to go about getting your exercise. Here are just a few ideas to keep you moving in the right direction –

1.     Walk Around Your Favorite Indoor Shopping Spot: This can include the mall, the grocery store or the airport (apparently they have shopping in a nice, long corridor). Window shopping makes it interesting and cost effective.

2.     Join a Gym: Many times, when people think of the gym, they automatically picture lifting weights and using the machines, which is sometimes intimidating. Fortunately, there are lots of gym options in Portland, meaning that you can choose a gym that is right for you. If you are just looking to walk, then there are inexpensive memberships that you can obtain that will give you access to a treadmill. Some gyms also give you the option of swimming. Others may reward you with a sauna after your work out. Furthermore, there are rock climbing gyms that offer top-roping, boulder, weighted workout equipment, and slack-ling. Cross fit gyms offer great companionship and team building. Best of all – all of these options are covered from the elements.

3.     Take an Exercise Class: Having exercise on a schedule sometimes makes it easier to commit time to do it. It also helps to being active with other like-minded individuals. Check out all these options:

- Yoga - Pilates - Zumba - Cycling - Step - MELT Method - Tai Chi - Martial Arts - Aerial Yoga - Somatic Release - Jazzercise - Cross Fit - Join in with "Couch to 5k" - Barre Method -

...the list goes on...

Shout out to Traci Culberson and her team at Pacific NW Pilates for their great work with several of our clients to keep them moving with good form and health!

4.     Go Out Dancing: If you Google “dancing and Portland,” you will find a plethora of dance halls that offer many affordable options for dance classes or just a place to socialize and groove to the music. If this seems daunting, you can always turn up the tunes at home, which allows you a safe place to dance like no one is watching.

5.     Join an Indoor Soccer League or Try Indoor Racket Sports: Soccer, squash, racket ball or even good ol’ ping pong are great ways to get your heart rate up while enjoying the indoors.

6.     YouTube an Exercise Video: Exercise videos are no longer just what you think of from the ‘80s. There are lots of people online that produce blogs and videos that give weekly routines to help keep you active.

7.     Work Exercise into Your Day: Embrace movement throughout the day instead of making one set time for it. Use a standing desk. Take small breaks to walk to the water fountain. Stretch if you have just a moment of time in-between work. Walk the stairs of your office during lunch. Whatever it is, move. As they say “motion is lotion” and your joints and body will thank you for it!

8.     Get Gear and Embrace Rainy Portland: Just in case you have the inkling to go outside, get some water proof gear and enjoy what your surroundings have to offer, even in the rainy weather. Some of my favorite hikes are during the rainy season because you get to experience little natural waterfalls that otherwise wouldn’t be present and the green of the moss brightens brilliantly against the grey. Even the city has more sites to offer with the fun white lights adorning the trees on several blocks.

Whatever you choose, please don’t allow the weather to be your excuse to limit your activity. If you have lessened your outdoor activities, then look for new indoor activities to replace them and keep you active across the seasons. Don’t be the “weekend warrior” of the seasons. “Motion is lotion” and your body needs motion to keep moving properly. Would you let your car sit for an entire season? Relate that to your body. Movement is the best way to stay healthy, so find what’s right for you. If you happen to hit a speed bump, contact us and we will be there to help.