It's so easy to start putting on the pounds when winter arrives. The cold weather and extra layers of clothes aren't exactly inspiring you to go outside so slacking off has become all too common during the season. Fret not! Here are five ways you can stay fit during the winter months.
Approach #1: Take up a winter sport
Want to stay fit during the cold season? Take up a winter sport. If there's snow where you live, you can try skiing, sledding, or snowboarding. If there's none, you just look for the nearest skating rink and play broomball, hockey, ice skating, or any other similar activity. Winter sports are great way to get active and have fun when it's tempting to just wear layers of warm clothes and stay indoors. To get you motivated, bring your friends and/or family along.
Approach #2: Do calisthenics indoors
You don't have to go to the gym or use exercise equipment to get stay fit. All you need is some space indoors to do some calisthenics regularly. Here's a routine that you can do in your own room:
To perform push-ups, you simply lie prone, then raise and lower your body using your arms. Push-ups build up the muscles on your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Make sure you extend your arms fully in the high position, not rest on the floor during the low position, and keep your elbows tucked close to your body. You can start by doing three sets of 10 push-ups.
While in the push-up position, bring one of your knees under your chest as the opposite leg is extended, then keep alternating your legs' positions as if you're climbing a ladder. The mountain climber exercise is a great cardio workout which you can do without leaving your house!
A jumping jack or star jump is another kind of cardio workout, performed by jumping in place with your legs spread wide as your arms touch overhead. You can start from three sets of 12, and then increase the number as your endurance improves.
To perform a squat, cross your arms over your chest then crouch as if you're about to sit down. Squats target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Like the other exercises, you can start with three sets of 10 squats, and then gradually increase the frequency.
Lunges are performed by moving one foot forward, then bending the opposite leg and holding it in place for a few seconds. Make sure your knee on the back leg doesn't touch the floor and your back is straight. To add intensity to your lunges, you can carry light dumbbells on both hands.
Similar to sit-ups, crunches develop abdominal muscles. However, instead of moving your entire upper body closer to your knees, you focus on shorter movement. To perform crunches properly, cross your arms over your chest, raise your torso using your stomach muscles (not your neck), count to 12, and then lower your body. Do this thrice, and then gradually increase your total to 20 per set.
Approach #3: Take the stairs at every opportunity
Rather than riding the elevator or escalator, make it a point to take the stairs at every opportunity. This would let you burn more calories, squeeze in a quick cardio workout in your everyday activities, have better-looking legs for the following season, and reduce the risk of a heart ailment.
Approach #4: Get into exergaming
Exergaming is a play on the words "exercise" and "gaming", which refers to video games that are also used as an exercise. If you have a Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect, or PlayStation Move, you can play and get fit at the same time. All you need is an exercise or dancing game like Zumba Fitness, Get Fit with Mel B, or The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout and you're set. While exergames aren't comparable to playing an actual sport, it's a good way to stay active even during foul weather.
Approach #5: Clear the clutter in your home
Another way to get moving while indoors is to do some major cleaning in and around your house. You can move furniture around, clean your yard, get rid of junk in your closet, and still burn calories in the process. That way, you'll look at stay fit, and make your home look fantastic.