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Exercise to beat the freeze

Driver no more, Joe Delaronde never lets Jack Frost’s nasty bite keep him from his wheels that he rides to work every day. (Daniel J. RoweThe Eastern Door)


Nothing will keep people indoors more than the cold. Well, I suppose the heat too. Or the wind. Or the rain. Or the…

Man, humans are babies.

The region’s winter months do tend to encourage a blanket, cheese plate and cup of coffee more than a jog, however, The Eastern Door checked with a few of those who stay active throughout the winter months regardless of wind, ice, snow or cold, and asked how they stay motivated to not lose their exercise mojo.

Follow Brandi Meloche on Instagram and you will know, she does not let a chill get in the way of a workout, even though she’s is basically a Floridian at heart.

“I’m not a fan of winter, but I am a gym person, so I have to leave my warm, comfy house, no excuses!” said Meloche. “Even if it’s dark and cold after work, you have to make the effort to get active.”

Meloche is a self-motivated type and guides her own routines, which is not something everyone excels at.

Kayla Cross makes use of Phillip Gibson’s Steady Strong program at lunch three days a week, and admits to being in the “not self-motivated” camp, regardless of season.

She, however, manages to keep to her schedule, and insists on not letting weather affect it.

“Routine is key,” said Cross, who drags her co-worker Dana with her. “If you start your workout routine before the snow falls, it shouldn’t be much harder to keep it up during the winter months.”

Both women said goal setting is another key for staying active.

“You’ll be motivated to get active if you have something you’re working toward,” said Meloche, who added that stretching is vital and should be a touch longer when the weather chills the bones.

Of course, one need not go to a gym to stay active. There is a plethora of ways to get the blood running in the winter without hitting a gym or joining a sports team.

“Make shovelling snow or playing outdoors into a workout,” said Meloche, who is guaranteed to be dancing the entire length of the parade on the MCK’s Christmas float Sunday.

“Snowball fights, building a snowman and shovelling are all great cardio, but don’t overdo it. Pay attention to your current physical state and what your body can handle.”

Anyone who’s done it knows that physical activity affects more than just your form.

“Routine workout is a game changer,” said Cross. “Even if you don’t have a holiday vacation planned somewhere warm, working out is a huge stress reliever and it has become one of my “looking forward to” activities during the week, not to mention the health benefits and I feel less guilty when I have a cheat day with Netflix.”

Those not ready to try and keep up with the likes of Cross and Meloche (good luck with that) can start simple.

Joe Delaronde walks or rides his bike to work every single day, winter or summer.

“It changes my life, especially coming to work feeling ready to work because the fresh air and that little bit of exercise is far different from back in the days of jumping in the car and driving in, and sitting around and having coffee,” said the MCK political attaché who walks/bikes about 700 metres each way, taking around 10 minutes.

“There’s already exercise as the day starts. It makes a big difference, and it creates a way better habit for exercise. I do it all the time now,” he said.

Delaronde never lets winter get in the way, rides to the post office, cruises home for lunch, and has hung up his car keys for good.

How far is your office from your house, really? Do you need to drive? Likely not.

Get up and get active.

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Daniel J. Rowe is an award-winning reporter and photographer originally from BC. In addition to journalism, he produces and edits a Shakespeare-inspired blog and podcast called the Bard Brawl. His writing has also appeared in the Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press, U.S. Lacrosse magazine and elsewhere. His facial hair rotates with the season, and he’s recently discovered the genius of wearing a cowboy hat. He wrote for The Eastern Door from 2011 to 2019.