Fight Winter Blues with Indoor Workouts
The days are short, the nights are long, and the temps are less than desirable. Colder months tend to sap our energy, and when it comes to keeping up with a fitness routine, many of us can’t afford to have one iota of energy taken from us. Though working out is usually more fun when it’s warm outside, staying fit and healthy is not only possible when it’s cold out, but it’s not that tough (and yes, even enjoyable). Here are some tips for working out indoors.
Buy a set of resistance bands
One option for getting a total-body workout indoors is to join a gym. But that’s pricey. Another is option is to build a gym in your own home. This can add up, too, when you think about buying free weights, dumbbells, kettlebells, a treadmill, and other home gym equipment. The solution is resistance bands. These are cheap and versatile and can be stored in a closet or drawer when you’re not using them. You can get a total body workout with resistance bands. Click here for a great resource on different exercises.
Don’t scoff at indoor cardio
Strength training is fine and good, but what about cardio? If you think you can’t get a solid cardio workout indoors, without a fancy machine, you’re dead wrong. Stationary sprinting, squat thrusts, and planking can give your heart a workout. Rapidly switching between certain exercises? Even better. Throw in some shadowboxing to really get your blood pumping. Check out this 20-minute routine that you can do in your living room.
Stairs are your friend
Even though you’re doing your best to schedule designated indoor workout time, it helps to build some working out into your daily routine. In this regard, stairs are your best friend. Here’s your new rule: When it’s cold outside, I will never take an elevator or an escalator. You’ll be amazed at how much walking a half-dozen flights of stairs every day will do.
Why is this all so important?
Why can’t you just wait out the winter, and when things thaw, get outside and get back on the proverbial horse? Why is keeping up with your exercise routine so important during the winter months?
For one, exercise isn’t something that you can “catch up” on. You can’t make up for lost time in the spring by working twice as hard. Your body needs at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every single day, according to doctors. Another reason is that physical exercise helps to promote better mental health, and that is more important in the winter than it is in any other season. Lack of daylight, the inability to be outdoors, bad weather, and even the holidays are all triggers for depression and seasonal anxiety disorders. The bottom line is you need exercise in the winter.
Beyond that, it’s vital to keep up with physical activity if you’re in addiction recovery. 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.
So what are you waiting for? You can fight the cold-weather blues and keep your body fit for the upcoming warmer months without even leaving your house. Of course, working out in the cold won’t kill you either. It’s actually quite healthy! If you do decide to venture outside, make sure you check out some cold-weather exercise tips.
About the author
Jason Lewis is a personal trainer. In 2002, he became the primary caretaker for his mother after her surgery. He realized, as he helped her with her recovery, that there is a special need for trainers that can assist the seniors. He worked with his mother’s physician, as well as other personal trainers, to create programs that are considerate to the special health needs of those over the age of 65. He is the founder of www.StrongWell.org