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Beat winter blahs

Don't let the winter weather stop you cold. Learn to stay motivated and combat cabin fever.

Photograph: Mike Norman

Soon after we get red carpet–ready and pop bubbly to ring in the new year, winter blues slaps us in the face harder than the blustering wind. Holiday merrymaking and revelry are gone, but there are plenty of things to do and see. We’ve enlisted help from Chicago Endurance Sports cofounder and coach Mike Norman for tips on getting us off our tushes.

Join the club
According to Norman, being around like-minded individuals pursuing similar goals boosts performance and brings on a sense of belonging. I can attest to this theory. While many of you are sleeping late on Saturday mornings, I’m training outdoors on the lakefront for my first 5K race with the CES Winter Warriors running group. Prior to joining I didn’t run—not even for the bus. The group ethic is truly gratifying.

Everybody loves rays
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is as real as that cold making rounds in your office. Keep it at bay by soaking up vitamin D. “Sunlight is therapy,” Norman explains. “A 10-minute walk at lunchtime could work wonders for improving your mood.”

Break out of the box
Norman isn’t recommending you don a Speedo and plunge into Lake Michigan. Instead “take a different route home. The change of scenery may get your imagination pumping and creative juices flowing,”

Work it
“A good workout doesn’t have to be grueling,” admits the accomplished triathlete, who qualified for the 2005 Ironman World Championship. Norman suggests incorporating fun winter activities such as snowshoeing at the Chicago Botanic Garden, ice skating or participating in a game of hockey.

Own the cold weather; visit chicagoendurancesports.com for more information on upcoming programs.