Your Health: Cold weather no excuse for less exercise |

Your Health: Cold weather no excuse for less exercise

Becky Smith, foreground, lets loose during a Zumba Fitness session at her studio in Centennial Mall. Smith is a licensed instructor for the dance-fitness program, teaching in her own space, as well as at Breeze Street 24-Hour Fitness.

There may be miles upon miles of natural splendor in which to get physical activity for Moffat County residents, but the fall, winter and sometimes spring climate can be a hindrance for outdoor excursions. With the days soon getting shorter and chillier, going out and about to get a bit of fresh air can be a challenge for those who don't want to stomp through snow banks or jog on icy streets.

Even so, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of regional options to stay fit throughout the year.

No matter what the calendar says, it's always important to get a steady amount of exercise whether you're staying the course with your current workout plan or embarking on getting off the couch for the first time in your life.

Getting started

The important thing to remember if you haven't done much exercising is not to strain yourself by taking on too much at once, said Luke Geer, physical therapy manager for The Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Center.

"People need to consult with a physician to make sure they're healthy enough to do so," he said.

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Once getting the clear from a doctor, the best thing is to get started slowly. Going from no exercise whatsoever to extreme running or other activities can be a significant shock to the body.

Geer said those who jump into a trendy fitness regimen might be better served to start figuring out their own way to be active.

"Once they start doing that, they'll find a better sense of well-being, more baseline energy and probably help them with some weight loss if that's their goal," he said.

Geer added that he would be happy to work with interested parties who want to chart out their own exercise plans with a free consultation at TMH's site at Centennial Mall.

As a triathlete, Geer regularly uses the Northwest Colorado landscape to his advantage, running along the varied inclines and declines around Craig to impact his physiology. Though he understands some may prefer to avoid the briskness during cooler months, the great outdoors is the answer for him.

"It's not a bad idea to just bundle up and use the Earth as God intended, but to each their own," he said.

Movement is a must

Jim Gregoire, owner of Trapper Fitness Center, has a formula.

It includes 168 hours minus an average 40 hours of work minus an average 56 hours of sleep equals 72 hours of leisure time per week. He sees no reason why the average person wouldn't be able to fit in three half-hour sessions of working out each week.

"If you can't spare those 90 minutes, you may need to take a look at your life," he said.

Gregoire has worked at Trapper for eight years and has owned the center for the last three years with his wife, Barb. Holding bachelor's and master's degrees in recreation exercise and sports science and certified in many aspects of personal training — including CrossFit, weightlifting and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America's Biggest Loser Pro — he has spent most of his life dedicated to helping others get fit.

The variety of activities available at Trapper includes racquetball, basketball, boxing, yoga and more, as well as plentiful workout machines, but sometimes, just getting someone into a gym involves more effort than actually getting on the treadmill.

"There are some people who are just so intimidated by coming into a place like this," he said.

Gregoire recalled a client who, at nearly 500 pounds, was morbidly obese and terrified of working out in public.

Together, they worked out a makeshift exercise he could do from home: walking hundreds of laps around the dining room while watching the Denver Broncos and other sports teams. Every time his team scored, he would task himself with doing more laps, and the process of exercise started to become less cumbersome.

Eventually, the man dropped half his body weight.

"The key thing is just movement," Gregoire said.

There's no reason why exercise can't be fun, exemplified by programs like Zumba, which operates out of the Centennial Mall, as taught by licensed instructor Becky Smith. The brightly colored walls of Smith's space, Marvelous Movements Fitness, exemplify the high energy of the Latin dance-fitness fusion.

"It's basically a party, just working out and having a good time while you're doing it," Smith said.

Committed to working up a sweat

Both Smith and Gregoire attested that they see an influx of participants in the winter as people in Craig seek a way to stay active, but that number doesn't always stay up.

January means a lot of New Year's resolutions for people jazzed up about losing weight, but many quit by March or even after their first workout session, Gregoire said.

The beginning of this year brought in a new, or at least modified, exercise option for people in Craig with Breeze Street 24-Hour Fitness when Mark Samuelson bought the gym known as Holistic Health and Fitness next to Samuelson True Value.

Samuelson said he has seen a steady membership throughout the year and hopes to keep it going as the winter comes and he celebrates his first anniversary as owner. Beyond bringing in some new pieces of equipment, he has kept it largely the same as Holistic's layout, including classes like Pilates, as well as Smith's Zumba sessions.

Keeping the 24-hour format has been the biggest selling point.

"It works really well for people getting off their work shift at 1 or 2 in the morning, and they have a place to blow off some steam," he said.

Samuelson said one thing he has always enjoyed about Craig is the fact that there is almost always some kind of physical exertion opportunity at any given time during the year. Besides the local gyms open to adults of all ages, kids have endless chances to get moving, whether it's through Bad Dogs Wrestling, the gymnastics of Rising Star Youth Training Center, the Just Dance studio, Moo Sul Kwan martial arts, or the myriad activities available through Boys & Girls Club of Craig and Craig Parks & Recreation.

"We really have a lot for a small town," he said.

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or

Craig recreation pricing options

Breeze Street 24-Hour Fitness, 420 Breeze St., 970-824-4700

Month-to-month: $45

Direct deposit: $35

Three-months: $120

Annual: $300

Walk-in: $5

Trapper Fitness Center, 261 Commerce St., 970-824-6932


Monthly: $45

Three-months: $112.50

Six-months: $210

Annual: $300

One-time access: $10

Zumba Fitness, 1111 W. Victory Way, Ste. 101, 970-629-8702

Adult monthly: $65

Student monthly: $40

Punch card: $6 per punch

Adult walk-in: $8

Student walk-in: $4

— Check with each outlet for full pricing options.