Keeping fit in the winter months - Update

A few weeks ago I said I needed to get into some kind of routine to keep myself active over the winter. It is cold and wet outside for a lot of the winter here in the southeast, and I've found myself being much less active.

Most of my normal activity comes from just getting outside. In the warmer months I'll roam around the area fishing small lakes and creeks I've found on Google maps. In peak hiking season I'm usually out on trail. At least I have been for a majority of the season the last two years. Winters have really gotten me down here lately.

My fiancee signed us up for a gym membership with most of her family, and so far it's been a great activity for us. The price seems great. The gym is mostly a rehabilitation facility, and there aren't a lot of younger people there, but the facilities are excellent. The place isn't ever packed.

We've been swimming laps in the indoor pool. After several weeks of practice I no longer look like I'm trying to drink all the pool water while swimming free-style. I get to spend a lot of time in the hot tub near the pool waiting for Hadlea to get changed and showered before we swim.

Ah, I love that hot tub. It is a far cry from the bath houses I visited in Japan last year, but it scratches the itch. When it's been especially cold and wet out I love to soak in the hot tub to warm my bones.

I'm already noticing that our endurance levels are increasing with all the swimming. I don't have to take as many breaks as I did when I started. Hadlea is just kind of a machine, never really stopping for breaks. She has just been swimming faster every week though, starting out from a much slower "crawl" stroke as my dad would call it.

I will say that my skin seems pretty dry in the last week or so. I can smell the pool water smell sometimes on my skin despite having showered.

We have been going something like three times per week. While I could probably do with more activity and exercise I think it's a huge betterment from last winter. I think I'll be in better shape hitting the trail this season, though hiking is a different sort of game.