I’ve got a guest blog post for you today from Jason Lewis.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside; Sweat Indoors Instead
Hot chocolate and pajamas seem like the ideal solution for indoor fun when it’s cold outside. But arctic temperatures are no excuse for lagging on your fitness routine. This is especially true if you have health conditions that may worsen without proper exercise. Keep reading for a few cold weather workout tips that will help you work up a sweat no matter what the thermometer reads.
Why stay fit?
Working out for 20 to 30 minutes each day will help you reduce body fat, keep your bones strong, and help your immune system stay in tip top shape. Regular exercise also decreases your risk for type II diabetes and hypertension, asserts Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., a contributor for Psychology Today. But, physical activity doesn’t just affect your body. The amount of exercise you receive directly impacts your mental and emotional wellness and can play a part in helping you recover from addiction. There are cute puppy pictures at the end, don’t worry!
Behavioral Wellness & Recovery sums it up best: “When seeking therapy for substance use, many counselors also recommend pursuing a physical wellness plan to combat not only the physical effects of substance use, but also to promote the general well-being of patients.”
As it relates to substance abuse recovery as well as recovery from accidents or injury, exercise promotes overall health and well-being, which can help you reclaim your physical and emotional strength.
Indoor activities for cold days
Even if you’re stuck inside with the kids, you can still burn calories and keep your heart pumping and your muscles strong.
Hooping is no longer considered child’s play. This fun activity can be performed with a single piece of equipment and will blast your belly into shape. Health estimates that 30 minutes of hula hooping three times per week can help you burn 250 calories each workout and shave up to six inches off your midsection.
Jumping jacks are a high-impact aerobic activity that’s good for your heart, lungs, and all of your large muscle groups. Jumping jacks additionally trigger a chemical effect that will help you relax when your workout is over.
Crunches and planks
You’re familiar with stomach crunches as a way to mold and reshape your abdominal muscles but one of the most popular additions to fitness routines around the world are planks. Planking, which involves flattening your body and holding a specific position for up to a few minutes, is much more difficult than it sounds and offers a host of benefits including strengthening your core, improving balance, and increasing flexibility.
There is a reason that Zumba and Jazzercise remain two of the most over-crowded classes at your local gym. That’s because they are not only fun, but dancing is an effective workout that combines physical fitness with listening to your favorite tunes. The possibilities are endless and you can burn hundreds of calories in a single hour by simply having fun.
If you’re stuck in the house with the kids, make it a family affair by putting on their favorite music videos and hosting a dance party in your very own living room. As an added benefit, your kids will think you’re super cool and you’ll have a chance to bond. If that’s not reason enough, Women’s Health reports that dancing fires off brain synapses that can help improve your short-term memory and stave off cognitive decline.
With the right mindset, all you need is a little extra space and the desire to keep up your fitness routine. Even if you can’t hike, bike, or swim, you can still reap all the benefits of exercise. And if all else fails, you can always clean your house, which burns calories and makes being confined between four walls a little more bearable.