How to Stay Fit When Winter’s Got You Stuck Inside~ Jason Lewis

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“Brrr… it’s cold outside!” Have you caught yourself saying that lately? Winter has been pretty rough this year in many parts of the country. The cold temperatures make it hard for outdoor lovers to get the physical activity they need to enjoy good health. This doesn’t mean you have to wait till spring to get your daily exercise, however. In this post, we’ll discuss ways you can enjoy a great workout indoors.

First a reality check. Let’s look at some of the typical constraints that come in play when exercising indoors:

● Limited space. Unless you’re a Hollywood celebrity or business tycoon, your home is probably smaller than the typical shopping mall. So going for a 5K run is out of the picture. Plus, the space you have is already devoted to purposes like cooking, sleeping, relaxing, etc.

● Co-occupants. If you live by yourself, then you’re free to rearrange your living space at will. Most of us, though, have to make room for our fellow inhabitants, not to mention any four-legged creatures.

● Distractions. Most people’s homes are designed for sedentary activities like watching TV or eating. This can present problems when you find your focus interrupted by thoughts of the TV or the fridge.

That’s enough challenges. Now let’s consider some solutions.

Maximum Fitness in Minimum Space

There are plenty of ways to get in a great workout in a small space. Consider these ideas suggested by the Huffington Post:

● Squats. This classic exercise strengthens your legs while boosting your cardio fitness at the same time.

● Planks. Start with the beginning push-up position and hold it as long as you can. You can also try walking planks for a little added challenge.

● Lunges. These strengthen multiple muscle groups. You can do them with or without hand weights.

Another idea is to enlist the TV in your battle to stay fit by using exercise DVDs or YouTube videos. Do you have cable or satellite TV? If so, then you may have access to an on-demand fitness channel with all sorts of great options, according to writers for the Mayo Clinic.

Give the Gym a Second Thought

Some people would rather do almost anything than darken the door of their local gym. Their reasons vary from the hectic commute, to crowded facilities, to long waiting lines at the most popular exercise machines. When it comes to fitness, the destination matters more than the journey. Still, winter may be the perfect time to give your local fitness club a second chance. Here’s why:

● A well-equipped gym offers features like a heated swimming pool.

● Gyms are often less crowded in the winter. You may find you have easy access to your favorite equipment on days when the mercury plummets.

● Gyms are a great place to meet like-minded people who can help you to stay motivated year-round.

Is Yoga the Ultimate Home-Based Exercise?

Most fitness buffs focus on improving muscular strength and endurance, and rightly so. But did you know that flexibility is just as important? The same is true of internal qualities like calmness and focus, which have a profound effect on our bodies. This is why yoga is a great option for people who work out at home. Consider:

● Yoga requires almost no gear. The only items you need are comfortable clothes and a mat.

● It can make you stronger and improve your endurance while helping you to stay limber.

● Yoga promotes peace of mind, a quality many of us could use more of.

Consider yoga when investigating alternative options for wintertime exercise. But, no matter which route you go, the key to ongoing health is to stay active throughout all four seasons. That way you’ll enjoy the benefits of fitness no matter what the weather is doing.

By Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis is passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free. He created StrongWell.org to share his tips on senior fitness. He is a personal trainer based in Wilmington, DE.