Who wants to go outside to exercise during the winter in the Northeast? I know for me it’s a struggle to lace up my shoes and go out for a jog when the sleet is pelting against my office window.
So how are you supposed to stay in fantastic shape during the colder months of the year? Here are 5 little secrets that will keep you on track until it’s shorts and t-shirt weather again!
1. Ice Skate!
During the winter it’s usually to cold, to dark, or to dangerous to walk or run outside on the roads. Not to mention slippery. To get in a great workout and stay relatively warm (at least without the wind chill) ice skating is the way to go. Yes, you can go to a local pond and shovel off the snow to start a pickup game of hockey, but even better yet is to go to the local ice rink for a free skate.
A free skate is just a few hours where the rink opens up for the public. It is very reasonably priced (about $20 for two with skate rentals) and ice skating is a great workout! A few laps at a elevated pace will certainly get you sweating.
Haven’t ice skated since high school? Don’t worry, Ann and I went a month and a half ago for the first time in a long time and picked it up again just like riding a bike. But if you are worried, it doesn’t hurt to get a pair of kneepads!
2. Wear Under Armour
If you’re a trooper and need to be outside this thermal wear is the way to go. It’s expensive, but it will keep you warm AND dry. The fabric is engineered to wick sweat away from your body. This means that you won’t be soaked to the bone and freeze up on those cold days when you’re working out hard.
Under Armour makes tops, bottoms, headgear, gloves, etc., so you can accessorize and wear them all under your workout clothes for maximum winter comfort!
3. Know Your Physical Limits
Yes, you could exercise outside all winter long, but there are some days when your health is more important than pushing it.
Have you ever gone outside on one of those days where the air is so cold to breathe in that you have a coughing fit right there on the spot?
Well if you have, or even if you haven’t, your body is telling you something very important… the air is too cold for you to safely warm it up before it gets to your lungs. You should never exercise outside when the temperature is more than 80-90 degrees below your body temperature. Your lungs will pay for it.
This is called exercise induced asthma (EIA) and its symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath and can lead to chronic asthma.
So if you think it’s too cold, it probably is. Stay inside and see tips #4 and 5!
4. Learn a Bodyweight Exercise Routine
A bodyweight routine is a series of exercises that need no equipment and that you can do in your own home. There are many types of bodyweight routines… yoga, pilates, yoglaties, aerobics, etc. These routines will get you in great shape in the privacy and warmth of your own home.
When you are doing these routines, you must be sure that you get a cardiovascular workout as well as a stretching and strengthening workout. If you can’t go outside and get your heart rate up, then you have to do it inside. This requires a little more creativity!
Repetitions of squats, bear squats, upward dog-downward dog, jumping jacks, etc can serve as a fantastic cardiovascular and strengthening workout that covers all fitness bases. To find out more about bodyweight routines, visit our website and take a look at our “Lifestyle Fitness Points System.” In this program you will find all the exercises, I’ve mentioned above, plus 10 routines you can start using right away no matter what your level of fitness is!
5. Start Your Own Personal Gym
Now’s the time to think about getting a treadmill or elliptical machine… or maybe even that Bowflex you were looking at a year ago. Having your own equipment and knowing how to use it will keep you motivated and help you stay on track.
You’ll never have the “I don’t have time to go to the gym” excuse anymore. The gym will be right there waiting for you. Talk about convenience!
Shop around and you’ll be rewarded with the best deals!