Everyone knows that the key to optimum health is a combination of optimum nutrition, regular exercise, adequate rest and sleep, healthy lifestyle, and superb stress management. And these should be maintained the whole year round even in the freezing cold of winter. Unfortunately, it may be quite challenging to drag one’s butt off the bed and haul oneself outside where it’s cold and dark. Remember, the more you stay in bed especially during the winter months, the greater is the chance that your muscles will lose their tone. Poor muscle tone leads to poor metabolism. This can then turn to other metabolic problems.
Fortunately, there are some things that you can do in the winter to maintain physical fitness. Here are the top 10 things you can do to stay fit during winter.
- Amp Your Household Chores
Did you know that cleaning the inside and outside of your windows for about half an hour can literally help you burn 100 calories? Now, take it up a notch further by putting resistance weights on your hands while cleaning and you can be on your way to developing those upper limb muscles while keeping you fit. Even mundane everyday tasks such as washing the car, doing the laundry, and vacuuming your place can help those muscles stay well-toned as they are constantly used. The key however is for you to modify your ordinary household chore a bit so that it becomes a workout.
- Work the Stairs
Did you know that climbing stairs is more effective than jogging in burning more calories per minute? In fact, serious stair climbing is recognized as a form of vigorous exercise. If your house doesn’t have stairs, there are plenty of public places that have stairs or even steps.
- Walk or Hike
Sure it is cold out there but you don’t need to be outside to walk. There are covered buildings that you can walk several miles on. If you live in an apartment complex that has a basement parking, you can literally walk in circles in the whole parking area. Or, better yet, take the whole family to a shopping mall, let them help themselves, and you walk all the levels of the mall at a hurried pace. Mall walking can have tremendous benefits. That should keep your heart pumping and getting you fit as endorphins are released from the brain, helping you feel a lot better about yourself. If you have warmed enough, try walking outside. The resistance of walking on powder should also help you stay in better shape.
- Jog or Run
Just like in walking or hiking, you can also jog or run around your apartment’s parking area or any other covered area if you clearly don’t want to run outside. In cases where you want to run outside, there are plenty of areas that you can go to. However, do heed caution as there may be dangers lurking everywhere.
- Go Ice Skating
If you haven’t tried ice skating yet, now might be the best time to learn how. If you have tried roller skating or roller blading before, it is basically the same stuff. The only difference is that you will be wearing ice skates. Nevertheless, this teaches you balance and coordination as well as strengthening your leg and foot muscles. In fact, studies show that skating backwards can really work your leg muscles in a variety of ways.
- Take on Other Winter Sports
Be it skiing, snowboarding, or even ice hockey, there are plenty of winter sports out there that must appeal to you. The point about staying fit during the winter time is for you to keep on moving, to keep on being active. If you dream about bobsledding, then by all means try to do so. Now is the time to take lessons on winter sports.
- Take on Yoga or Pilates
Some people don’t think of yoga and Pilates to be really exercises but rather a form of relaxation. Well. They are both. While you are teaching your mind to relax, you are also stretching your muscles to their limits by subjecting them to various positions and fluid motions for extended periods of time. So while yoga is often equated with relaxation, it does have its physical benefits. The added benefit however, is greater peace of mind.
- Geocache with Your Family
What better way to enjoy the winter with the family while at the same time staying healthy and fit than going on a high-tech treasure hunt? This will teach your children about their natural environment, the value of teamwork, and the importance of honing their problem-solving skills.
- Get Your Groove Dancing
Ever tried Zumba? How about hip-hop or even salsa? Did you know that a 30-minute moderately-paced dance routine is equivalent to about 250 calories burned? That is about the same as jogging. Dancing is known to improve flexibility and help build stronger muscles. Additionally, dancing is a low-impact and aerobic form of exercise.
- Try Home Workouts
Stuck at home? Why not put on an aerobic workout DVD and just sweat it all out right in the comfort and privacy of your own home? This could perhaps be the easiest thing for you to do. It is like being enrolled in a real aerobics class only you are following the instructions on your TV.
There are other ways in which you can stay fit during the winter time. The important thing to remember is to always keep on moving so those muscles will not weaken from disuse and that your energy is always up.