Motion: Exercise Tips for Winter Wonder Land

Moving our bodies when it is cold out can be a real challenge. If we are used to walking outdoors then the weather change, whether it rain, snow, or just plain cold, can inhibit our desire to venture out.

Of course braving the elements is one option and having a walking buddy or accountability partner can really help us keep on track. Buddies can encourage each other and point out the beauty of the season so we are really appreciating the changes rather than cursing them. Be sure to dress in layers, watch out for ice, and keep yourself hydrated—keep a water bottle with you if you are going for longer than 20 minutes, otherwise a large drink before and after should be enough.

Exercising in the snow and ice can include fun things like skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding and even snowball fights. Winter can be a wonderful time to get the entire family involved in moving more.

But when Brrr, Baby It’s Cold Outside is making you not move your body there are plenty of other choices to keep you on your path to fitness and weight loss.

Home Sweet Home

I like exercising at home. It is easy, convenient and I don’t worry about how I’m dressed! If you like following a specific routine, have a variety of DVDs available for the winter. Check some out from your local library, trade with friends, or buy a few to mix it up.

If you are like me and not coordinated enough to follow Jane as she tells you to Feel the Burn, don’t fret, you still have choices. If you have stairs in your house then you have an instant Stair Master for free! Either climb the stairs or just go up and down the same step over and over will give you the same heart rate boost. The great thing about stairs is you can easily count the number of times you go up a flight so you know as you improve.

Live in a ranch style home or apartment? No worries, you can certainly walk around the house. Pick a route and increase the “laps” as your fitness level rises.

Afraid you’ll walk a groove in the floor? Have some fun with it and put on some tunes and dance.

This is also a great time to stretch your muscles. Try some yoga, there are a number of different types of yoga and you may be surprised at how much energy you use getting into and holding positions.

Join a Club or Take a class

Speaking of yoga, if you are just starting out, you might benefit from taking a class or two. That way you have a teacher who can help you get the feel of being in the right posture. It may also be a way for you to try some different yoga techniques. And if you are really cold then Bikram Yoga might be just the trick—it is yoga done in a super heated room!

Other classes will help broaden your exercise routine which works a variety of muscles and gives you a chance to maybe find something that you really enjoy. Be adventurous and buy yourself a membership at a club or some dance lessons or a spin cycling class. Or try a personal trainer to learn some exercises that will be especially good for your body type and strength level (they are less busy this month but if you wait until January you might have a tough time getting an appointment with a good one!)

If you like the idea of a personal trainer but don’t live near a club, or your schedule doesn’t mesh with theirs, or you really don’t want to be out in the snow you can get a personal trainer online. One of my personal favorites is Gena Livings because she looks at your entire being and really strives to help you be healthier and more balanced. Learn more about Gena and if you decide to work with her, please tell her hi for me!

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