written by Carol Crincoli, Pure Pilates Director

If I had to rate the four seasons, New Jersey winter’s are my least favorite. I wish I enjoyed skiing, sledding or any outdoor activities that the cold weather offered me. I much prefer the comfort of a warm blanket and hot chocolate than playing in the snow. I have named this “hibernation syndrome” and with this “condition”, I struggle to find the motivation to exercise.

Depending on the person or a person’s mood, the word exercise can spark a wide range of emotions.  In the warmer months, I jump out of bed on a Saturday morning (well, maybe not jump), sip my coffee and plan for a couple hours of cycling through the nearby Watchung reservation. Currently, I am grateful for my Peloton and the ability to walk down into my basement to exercise (there’s that word again), but procrastination and inner debating became the norm in the early days of winter.

When I came across a quote from writer Paul Theroux a while back, “Winter is a season of recovery and preparation” it stuck with me. What could happen if I changed the word exercise to movement? Could I marry a successful movement routine and my hibernation syndrome? Yes!

We could all use this winter to recover from what was handed to us in 2020.  All bets were off last year and I had no rules or norms to find comfort in. And so I say, let’s approach this winter a bit differently. There’s still time! My goal is simple: Everyday I will move my body to lift my spirit. Movement that feels good, sparks joy and frankly might be silly and fun.

I still jump on my Peloton, because there are days when I like to connect with my favorite teachers, but instead of arguing with myself about “getting a workout in”, I ask myself what do I need to feel good. And here’s the surprising twist: I am working out longer, sometimes for shorter durations, multiple times a day (thank you virtual teaching!) and sometimes for a few hours on the weekends (thank you covid I have nowhere to go!). I am trying new exercises, experiencing movement with my peers, dancing more, smiling more and sometimes just allowing myself to breathe. 

I still relish in afternoon teas, warming up under my favorite blanket or disappearing with the latest People magazine with a Friday night cocktail. Hibernation syndrome didn’t go away because I re-framed how I approach exercise. Let’s just say my movement and martini’s are cohabitating joyfully.