Did you know on average 30 percent of people don’t exercise at all during the winter months, and gain on average 10+ pounds!?! While it’s tempting to hibernate and turn into a couch potato during the cold, winter months (which will only pack on the pounds), this won’t help you stay in shape, maintain or reach your goal weight. Here are a few tips to keep your mind and body motivated to keep moving and eating healthfully when it’s cold outside.
Warm up and stretch. Cold effects and stiffens your joints, tendons, and muscles, so be sure you take the time to warm up properly. When you warm up and stretch, blood flows to your cold muscles then, tendons and joints thus, warming them up to help reduce your risk of injury.
Wear sun block. Your skin needs protection from the sun all year round. Make sure to wear a big brimmed hat that covers your ears too.
Wear reflective clothing. Due to shortened daylight time, wear light-colored clothing and a reflective vest if you exercise at early in the morning or at dusk, as it tends to be darker outside.
Watch out for slippery slopes. Winter months bring the hazards of ice and snow on the roads. Poorly plowed sidewalks and roads are slick, making it dangerous to slip and fall when exercising.
Wear layers. If you want to continue exercising outdoors, don’t let the cold stop you. Make sure you wear layers so that the weather does not make you so uncomfortable that it keeps you from being active. You can shed layers of clothing as your body temperature warms up. Wear a windbreaker on windy days and don’t forget your hat and gloves. Wear water-wicking fabrics that don’t hold moisture against your body and avoid cotton.
Mall walking. Most malls open their doors before the stores open as a service to the community. The temperature is constant and there are usually many people to walk with you to help keep you motivated. Plus, you’ll know about the big sales before anyone else:)
Fitness videos. Videos are a great way to exercise indoors in the comfort of your living room. You can view before you buy at www.CollageVideo.com or buy used workout DVDs, as it’s a great way to recycle and save money too. You can find great quality, popular used home workout DVDs for less than half price at www.Amazon.com and www.half.ebay.com. I found lots of current best-selling DVDs on all these sites for 1/3 to ½ the price of new DVDs. (Just be careful about how much the seller is asking for shipping and handling.) *Don’t be afraid to negotiate or way away if it’s a bad deal—they’ll be plenty more good ones.
Create a home gym. This doesn’t have to be expensive. You can easily set-up a great workout routine with a set of dumbbells, an exercise ball, exercise tube with door attachment, and a jump rope, which should cost under $100.00. Top online fitness product websites such as www.SRRIFitness.com and www.GoFit.net are good places to buy your fitness tools at affordable prices. For a 30 minute total body fat blasting and flat ab sculpting workout buy my, Core Transformer Workout Kits.
Cross country skiing. Like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing is an aerobic sport that works all body parts (especially your biceps, glutes, hamstrings, triceps and quads) without stressing your joints. You can burn on average approximately 560 calories hour or more with a brisk cross country ski excursion. You can ski almost anywhere: a trail, conservation area, local park, or even a farmer’s field. As with snowshoeing, you can make your workout gentle or vigorous, and you can rent equipment for less money until you’re sure you want to purchase (new skis, boots and poles average about $250).
Dance! Salsa, swing, or freestyle your way slim with dancing. It’s a fun way to work your glutes, abs and legs when you’re stuck indoors. You may not be ready for a guest spot on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ but you’ll be sure to break a sweat and groove pounds away. There are more than a few dance workout DVDs to choose from on www.Amazon.com and www.CollageVideo.com.
Become a living room yogini. Escape the winter blahs and find your inner zen with yoga. Not only is yoga meditative, you’ll build muscle strength and balance holding those tough poses, so you’ll be more relaxed and toned after your winter-long practice. www.Amazon.com, and www.CollageVideo.com have great yoga DVD catalog selections. (AND, don’t forget to check out www.half.ebay.com for discount DVDs.)