Julie Chu is going for gold on the ice rink. Credit: Provided Julie Chu is going for gold on the ice rink.
Credit: Provided

Blankets and Netflix might get most of us through the frigid winter months, but for current and former U.S. Winter Olympians, hibernation is not an option. These competitors toss off their blankets and brave the icy chill to train for the 2014 Sochi Games. We got some frigid weather fitness tips from the athletes whose games heat up after the temperatures cool down.

Alana Nichols, Para-alpine skiing

Eat strategically
“I try to lower my carb intake as the day goes on, to help stay lean and build muscle tone with protein.”

 

Get the same workout in new ways
“A lot of what I do as an alpine skier crosses over to training for basketball - especially things like core and upper-body strength.”

Joshua Sweeney, Sled hockey

Kick up your downtime
“Even if I’m at home and watching TV, I can still do mobility exercises on the ground. That way, I can relax and also reset my body.”

Vary your routine
“Try and have some fun — I definitely like to mix it up and try new sports, like wheelchair polo and wheelchair basketball.”

Katherine Reutter, Speed skating

Pump up your commute
“Don’t decide to go home, eat, and then go to the gym - have a workout planned on the way home from work, and then take the stairs up to your apartment.”

Invent your own micro-workouts
“I try to have two complexes of lifts - one for the upper and lower body. You can get those done in about two or three minutes.”

Julia Mancuso, Alpine skiing

Manage your indulgences
“Keep eating all the healthy and good stuff. I like to only allow myself one cheat day to eat all the yummy treats, but the rest of the time no sweets!”

Protect against dryness
“I like to put rose hip oil on my skin in the morning and at night to keep my skin hydrated in the cold.”

Jazmine Fenlator, Bobsled pilot for Team Liberty Mutual

Pack food
“Always have a healthy snack with you – something that has a combination of carbs, protein, and electrolytes. Snacks help you revamp post-training, and help you stay alert for tasks ahead.”

Dress for success
“Layer! It is better to have more layers than less. If you feel warm, you can always take layers off. Warming up in cold weather is safer for injury prevention.”

Taylor Lipsett, Sled hockey

Keep it simple
There’s always new fitness/ nutrition tips coming out, but the bottom line of fitness is that you have to burn more calories than you take in. Even in the cold months, you have to keep moving and burn calories.

Rico Roman, Sled hockey

Follow through
“Stop making excuses. If I’m missing a leg and I’m not making excuses, no one should.”

Julie Chu, women’s ice hockey

Befriend your Crock-Pot
"There is a tendency in cold weather to want to eat a lot of comfort food but unfortunately most comfort food is unhealthy and the quantities are out of whack. I've found that using a slow cooker in the winter helps me easily prepare meals, portion out and have great food ready for when I return home from a long day on the ice. The slow cooker meals can be healthy and comforting at the same time."

Convert your living room
"It can be difficult to go out into the cold and head to the gym. Instead, turn your living room into your own private workout space to help keep your fitness goals during the winter. It's an easy way to strengthen muscles, get some conditioning and stay warm. Just be sure to set goals and commit to doing a workout. For some extra motivation have your family or friends join you."
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