Do you ever feel like you're in a rut? Do you feel like you can't get out of your own way sometimes? I was feeling that way on a weekend in early February. U just had a great work week and it was Sunday. I needed something in my day to boost me.

I applied my fitness knowledge and went out for a jog. My body needed some intensity to help get out of this rut. My dog had a bit to do with this decision because I try to walk and jog him at least a mile every day when I get home from work.

I've been doing this routine for a number of years, but with the snow and mud, our trail wasn't in the best shape. Also, my small dog gets lost easily in the snow, so I hadn't hit the jogging trail lately.

That Sunday happened to be the same day as the Polar Bear Plunge in Rehoboth. Remember that warm day on Feb. 2? What a great jog I had that morning and then it was off to the ocean to take a plunge. It was my 11th year doing the Plunge and running into the ocean topped off my need for intensity that day. The water was a cool 34 degrees and the air was a comfortable 50 degrees. I was no longer in my rut. I left Rehoboth feeling refreshed.

Now, I know not everybody likes to or can run. Nor do many people like taking a dip in the Mid Atlantic ocean in February. But it is important to find something to break your out of your rut and increase your intensity. This could be going for a quicker or longer walk, swimming more laps in the pool, adding more resistance in your routine, or just choosing to get up and move around in your house.

Adding intensity to your workout isn't just for the young. Remember the story about Fauja Singh, the marathon runner from India? Fauja started marathon running in his late 80s after suffering the loss of his wife and son. He finished his last marathon race at age 101 and he still walks three to four hours each day. By age 99, the doctors told Fauja that he had the body of a 40-year-old because of his training routine.

Fauja chose to break out of his rut and I chose to break out of mine. Now it's your turn. Find what works for you. Here's to your good health.

About the author: Jonathan Souder is the fitness director at Manor House, an ACTS Retirement-Life Community in Seaford. Email your questions to

winter rut