Kristin McGee's Winter Fitness, Without the Winter Weather
The temperature has dropped; and most days it’s tempting to ball up in a warm cozy sweater with a hot cup of cocoa and a great book. It’s natural to go in to a more hibernation phase in the winter months; but this is also the perfect time to get the body moving. When we exercise, the body releases feel good endorphins and boosts our moods! The weather outside may be frightful: but here are five beneficial indoor types of exercise you can do to stay in shape and feel great all winter long.
Yoga is the perfect in home workout, it’s portable, easy to do anywhere and anytime and all you need is your own body. A mat is great; but even if you don’t have one you can use a towel or find a floor your hands won’t slip on (like a short rug carpet or a hardwood floor). Vinyasa yoga is like swimming on land, you flow through poses linking breath and movement. Try a few sun salutations to get the blood flowing and ignite an inner fire with the ujayii breath.
Pilates is similar to yoga where you don’t really need anything but your body and breath to practice it. Pilates is also a mind/body exercise system, which focuses more on strengthening the core. You can lie down on your back and do the hundreds and series of five, which will get your abs in tip top shape. Strengthening the powerhouse also keeps you safe all winter long since our core is responsible for keeping us stable on slippery surfaces.
As we age we lose muscle mass and the more muscle we maintain through strength training, the faster our metabolism and easier it is to eat a bit more without putting on the lbs. Strength training is super beneficial for our bone density as well and for overall health. Grab a set of 5-10 pound weights and do some lunges, squats, bicep curls, tricep overhead presses, back rows and chest presses.
Plyometrics are awesome for getting the heart rate up and strengthening the entire body in minimal time. Think squat jumps, skater lunges, jump lunges, burpees, plank jacks and push-ups with a clap in between landings.
Jump ropes are cheap, easy to store, small enough to pack and one of the fastest ways to get a cardio workout in. Try even just five minutes of skipping rope and you will be totally out of breath. Start slowly with 30 to 60 seconds at a time until you can build up to five to ten minutes of jumping rope.
There’s no excuse not to keep moving when the weather gets colder and you don’t feel like venturing outside. At the very least you can turn on some music and throw a dance party. Any and all kind of movement is beneficial, keeps us young, strengthens our body, lifts our spirits and helps us maintain our weight.