It’s the beginning of a new year and popularly, the beginning of new health resolutions. If one of your resolutions is to get in shape or maximize your fitness routine, this is a great article to start with. The advantage of this time of year is that there is inspiration everywhere. The disadvantage is that it is often cold outside. How do you translate that wonderful motivation into action in the midst of winter? Read below as we navigate the best ways to get a great workout in during less favorable conditions.
Let’s start with working out outside. The reason you may be avoiding spending time outside is that you are not wearing the proper clothes or enough clothes. Three or four layers can make all the difference. It’s safe to spend time outside in cold and freezing temperatures as long as you are appropriately dressed. It’s recommended to wear a breathable shirt, a fleece, and an outer wind breaker jacket. Once you start your exercise, you will likely warm up and need to take off a layer or two. That is fine. However, always bring those outer protective layers with you. When you are picking out your clothes, don’t forget your extremities; cover up those ears and hands! A great tip is to keep the warm up and cool down part of the exercise inside if you are close to home.
Now here’s a “warm” option – workout inside your house. If you have stairs, walk or sprint the stairs. This will boost your heart rate and give you that ultra cardiovascular workout. If you don’t have stairs, make use of Youtube. They have everything from HIIT, circuits, supersets, and dance routines. Do 20-30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. On the weekends, take advantage of the extra time and get in an hour workout each day if you had to skip a day during the week. Also, don’t forget those super convenient workout DVDs that you can bring with you anywhere. Another at-home habit you can incorporate into your day is to exercise during TV commercials or during that Netflix marathon. Squat, crunch, push, and jump your way to a healthier body!
If you have a little more time, exercise by participating in seasonal sports. Ice skating, sledding, hockey, skiing, and snowboarding are all great ways to make memories and challenge yourself at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you do it for recreation or if you are an expert, these sports strengthen the lower body muscles and core.
A very convenient option is a gym membership. At the gym, it is important to get into a routine you’ll stick with. If you are finding it difficult to find time, go to bed earlier and wake up and get that early morning workout in before other things fill up your schedule. Or, find a workout buddy. Accountability can go a long way in helping you reach your goals. Gyms have group fitness classes and trainers that provide a great social aspect to exercise. Also, people are more apt to show up to the gym if they are paying money for it.
Whatever workout you choose, know that you are doing something incredibly beneficial for your health. Exercise is good for your muscles and bones, it makes you happier, gives you more energy, reduces your risk of disease, and you will sleep better. It is worth it to make some adjustments in the winter months to reap the results you want and the well-being exercise provides for you body. Ready, set, go!