With a November chill in the air, many individuals are looking for ways to stay fit without running in the cold. Those fitness buffs who are used to training outdoors, may find the confines of a gym too much to keep their motivation through winter. However, if you're serious about keeping up with your fitness routine, there's plenty you can do to keep things interesting while calorie intake is (often) at its highest.
Exercising at home
Around the holiday season, people get busy. On top of that, if you live somewhere where it snows a lot, you might go into hibernation mode. Working out at home can be a tough routine to stick to, but it's worth a shot when Old Man Winter comes knocking at the door. There are some pieces of equipment that might be best suited for your physical activity indoors:
- Exercise ball: Most of these come with instructions for specific exercises so that you can keep your workout creative and not get bored with the same old moves.
- Heart rate monitors: These look much like a watch and can help you keep track of how you are performing and when it's time to start your cool down.1
- Jump rope: This item isn't just for the playground – jump ropes are great for using indoors and can actually help you build your endurance.
- Medicine ball: Instead of picking up a set of dumbbells, medicine balls are a great option. These provide you with different options when it comes to strength training, and they are available in a variety of weights and sizes.
- Resistance bands: Another good option to replace the free weights you'll find at the gym are resistance bands. Not only are these great for strength training, but you can also use them to stretch during your warm up and cool down.
- Yoga mat: No matter what type of flooring you have in your home, a workout mat is a great idea. This will provide you a bit of cushioned support while tackling pushups, sit-ups and more.
Take it indoors
Those who are willing to hit the gym during the winter may need a little bit of a push for keeping motivated. Depending on where you go, the gym might be crowded, loud and generally uncomfortable. Try to make the best of your experience with these tops for a successful transition, as recommended by CNN Health:2
- Depending on what you have available, you might find a gym with a rock climbing wall – talk about bringing the great outdoors inside! This is an awesome way for those who enjoy exotic physical activities over the gym to get in some exercise, without the risk of frost bite during months of bitter temperatures.
- Find a gym that offers spinning classes. This is great for triathletes, cyclists and anyone who wants strength train in a fun way. Plus, classes are always a great way to keep motivation at a premium.
- Snatching one of the treadmills at the gym may be your fastest way out of there. In just an hour, you can burn as many as 700 calories, depending on your body weight and speed. Set the incline to at least 1 percent for optimal performance results.
- Try running the stairs at the gym, your apartment building or office. Most gyms also provide stair steppers for members. This is a great option for individuals who are looking to stay in hiking shape while the snow covers their favorite trails.
Those looking to stay fit in the winter without getting bored inside should consider team sports, swimming indoors and other out-of-the-ordinary physical activity.
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1 Teen Vogue, "Ten fitness essentials to make exercising at home easy"
2 CNN Health, "Transitioning to the gym"