COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Winter weather forces many people to cancel outdoor fitness plans or just take long walks outdoors.
Experts say the lack of physical activity and spending more time indoors can affect mental health.
Deb Messner is the owner of Avenue X Fitness in Grandview and teaches her clients about the relationships between exercise and mental health.
Pickerington High School creates a mental health awareness club
“It was a big difference from the day they came in on June 1st and said maybe 3 or 4 weeks after that it changed their behavior,” Messner said.
The cold weather in addition to the ongoing pandemic influences this behavior.
“Somehow it was a challenge for everyone,” added Messner.
She recently teamed up with local consultant Jeff Pharion to host a podcast that will help people achieve their goals.
“Deb and I were talking about small wins on the podcast … you don’t have to walk a mile, maybe you just have to go to the mailbox on the first day,” Pharion said.
By conquering small goals every day, Pharion says, people gain trust.
“If your goal is to climb Mount Everest, you will never get there. If you set a goal of getting to the end of your block, you will get there and you will feel very much better, ”Pharion said.
Messner also gets creative in her gym with various training options such as rowing in front of a virtual water screen.
“It can make people in Columbus, Ohio feel like they are in a different country in this weather,” Messner said.
She ultimately instructs her clients to find physical activities that they can commit to on a regular basis.
“Do what you love. If people hate running, don’t try to run outside now. It’s freezing outside now, that won’t work,” Messner said.
Messner says that physical fitness can combat negative thoughts whether you’re trying to fitness at home or going to a gym for the first time.
“The most affective stuff is what you do and will do,” Messner said.
Both experts encourage people to focus on their goals even when winter weather makes it difficult.
“Small goals will be more affective for them and the better they get and the braver they get and the stronger they get, the bigger their goals can be,” Pharion said.
Further information can be found at: https://avenuexfitness.fit/
Mental health information can be found at: https://pharioncounseling.com/