PUBLISHED: 4:36 PM on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Beat those winter blues, get in the exercise groove
Rainy days make me feel dreary, and there's nothing else I want to do except curl up with a good book, drink a steaming cup of mint tea and just sit.

Or, perhaps I want to putter around my kitchen baking up sugary treats to munch on through the night.

I've realized that I do a lot of sitting while living in Alaska. Hence, no surprise that in the process my energy levels have decreased and my pant size has increased.

I've been trying to venture back into the world of sweaty socks, white towels and bicycle machines, but it can be daunting.

At the end of a long day, it's hard to motivate oneself. "Oh, tomorrow I'll start"-that's what we all say.

The other day I was yapping on to a friend how I needed to work out and she said, "I only like to work out if I have an exercise buddy."

If you make a commitment to someone else, you're more likely to work out because you'll let your friend down if you don't go, she said. Wow, I thought to myself: what an idea.

Now, I'm in the process of recruiting a workout buddy or at least saying I'm trying.

For peace of mind, body and soul-working out during our long Alaskan winters is really the a good way to keep sane.

Another family member, who's highly motivated, doesn't let the wet, cold weather bog her down.

She just dons her workout clothes, rain gear, Xtra Tuffs and rain hat and hops onto her bike into the rainy day. "I just get out there and do it," she said.

I'm so impressed.

Perhaps if I invest in cheerful rain gear, I might do it too.

As a big fan of woman who are happy and comfortable with their bodies, no matter what size-I realize working out isn't all about image as I get older.

Working out is about feeling good, and sensing energy flow through your veins, which enables one to conquer everyday with a positive attitude (no matter how cheesy that sounds).

John F. Kennedy once quoted, "physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity."

On the other viewpoint, Cher said "fitness: if it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body."

When it comes right down to it: exercise equals work, and like any other experience in life-what we make out of it is what we take with us.

Local clubs offer inspirational classes including yoga, weight lifting, cardio and more.

If working out at the gym isn't your thing, then find some type of indoor or outdoor exercise that gets you movin' to beat those winter "blahs."

Some recommend learning some form of dance; education and exercise all in one.

If you see me at the local gym hanging on for dear life to the elliptical machine, don't be surprised!

I'm working toward a healthy, creative brain with a matching body to go with it.

Abby LaForce is a staff writer at Capital City Weekly. Contact her at