When we're feeling lazy up here in Ottawa, we have the option of standing outside to burn calories. True story. A new study in the Netherlands found that regular exposure to mild cold may provide a healthy and sustainable alternative strategy for increasing energy expenditure. Researchers found that being cold can significantly improve our calorie-in to calorie-burned ratio. Even if you were to eat more to compensate for this, you likely couldn't eat enough to compensate for that added spending. This will not give you an 8-pack...but if you want some cookies, consider enjoying them outside in the cold. :) Otherwise, it's time to HIT IT because derby is NOW and lying on the couch will not help you make all the wins. But sometimes the couch is all like, "Hey...need a hug? I gotcha." Here are five tips to PUMP YOU UP!

 

(Image courtesy of Comedy Central)

1. WATCH DERBY

It seems counter-productive to be like, exercise! But wait, watch TV. If you have the option to combine these activities, great. If not, watching a game can get you really excited about what you're working for.

2. VARY YOUR WORKOUTS

Nothing says BLAH like doing the same spin intervals day in and day out. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm a fitness expert. The bottom line is that working out outside of roller derby will help you develop as a player. My teammates all do different things. Some hit the gym a few times a week, some work out at home, some go to classes. They're all great athletes and the one thing all of these approaches have in common is that they vary. It's important to keep your body guessing. Derby'll do that to you, so be prepared. Variety is the spice of life! Doing different stuff will keep you engaged and encourage you to work as hard as you can.

3. UNDERSTAND WHY YOU'RE DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING

It's critical to understand why a particular exercise or program will support your development. Understanding why you're doing each exercise, completing all the elements of a program, will keep you motivated. You'll be paying attention to your physical development in the targeted areas and you'll be able to track the changes on the track. Knowing why you're doing something can help you see the change and help you determine if there's any tweaking required.

4. GET A BUDDY

Your buddy does not need to be attached to you. You don't need to Skype while working out...although awesome. The point here is ACCOUNTABILITY. We're all more likely to do something if we have someone keeping an eye on us. Find a teammate, friend, coach, league member, sister, mom, dog...whoever you trust not just to discuss when you've HIT IT but also when you've missed. When you're feeling all blah and the last thing you want to do is work out, your buddy IS THERE FOR YOU.

5. TRACK IT

Write it down. Having a buddy is great for accountability, but tracking what you're doing can help you better understand the results you're seeing and can help you adapt elements that are not working as well. You are all unique little lambs. Your goals are different and your needs are different. Tracking what you're doing can help a third party understand your objectives and help you adapt your program. Without a tracking system, it's much harder for your buddy, your coach, your trainer, or whoever it is you're asking to figure out what to do to help you. If it's on paper, written on your hand, or in the Cloud, you'll be able to address frustrations before they lure you into giving up.

Good luck with your workouts. I'll be eating a box of cookies on the front steps in my bathing suit (cuz SUPER WINTER calorie burn) and chatting with one of Neon's employees about her workouts. She's one of my buddies. We check in sporadically, but there's no judgment, just support and the understanding that some workouts do suck, but they're all needed in the end.

*We do not recommend freezing your asses off, nor are we suggesting that doing so will make you skinny or athletic.