“As someone who gets most of my exercise in the outdoors in the spring, summer and fall, what’s the best way to stay active in the winter without paying for a gym membership?”Kristen, USA
Thank you so much for your excellent question! The great news is, exercise comes in many different forms and you have plenty of options to choose – all in the comfort of your own home! Below are some of my recommendations on the top ways to stay active during the winter months.
1. Focus on strength exercises. You can either use your own body weight, invest in resistant bands, TRX and/ or a small weight set of 3-15 lbs (all which can easily be stored under your bed) to cover all the different muscle groups of the body. If you need some inspiration, you can browse the internet to find workouts for your own personal needs – there is so much free content out there! You can simply type in the search bar, “home exercises for glutes (or whatever you desire)” and your options will be endless. Christine Salus has an incredible YouTube channel that includes at home workouts such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), core burn, full body, targeted muscle groups and more. I can’t recommend her channel enough, she is amazing!
2. Incorporate more cardio. Some things you can do are burpees, heel kicks, high knees, sumo squats, mountain climbers and more! You can also buy a jump rope if you have room to use one. If you own a bicycle, you can purchase an indoor bike trainer stand. Again, a HIIT workout can be in this category. It is a great way to get your heart rate up, burn fat and move energy. A HIIT workout focuses on intense, quick intervals with 100% effort with some recovery time. If you are new to HIIT, look for “HIIT for beginners” when browsing the web.
3. Work on your core. Your core is the centre of your body and is responsible for keeping your body in balance. It helps you to perform many of your daily activities. Your core is connected to your arms and legs that help to control your simplest movements throughout your day. Building strong abdominals is one of the easiest things to do anywhere. A program that I really love is called, “21 days to phenomenal abdominals” by the DailyOM. What I like about the DailyOM is that you can pick your payment (ranging $10 to $40).
4. Take up a yoga practice. Yoga is a great way to go within, focus on the breath and push past your comfort zone. It is a deep connecting to the mind and body all while getting a nice, well deserved stretch and strengthening your muscles at the same time. Finding a yoga practice right for you is important as there are many different forms. Here are just a few you can research: Vinyāsa, Ashtanga, Gentle, Kundalini, Power Yoga, Hatha, Bikram. I recommend practices from a trusted source and always listen to your body. If you feel any kind of sharp pain or something doesn’t feel right, stop. Your intuition will guide you.
5. Dance in your living room or go out dancing! Dancing is an amazing exercise that brings joy, fun and expression from the soul. You move energy, burn calories and release endorphins. It is also a really powerful way to connect and be fully in the body. Magic happens when you completely surrender to the pulsing vibrations of music floating all around you, it can be real spiritual high.
5. Bundle up and just get outside! When you are dressed appropriately and exercise outdoors, your body will naturally warm up within 10 minutes. I personally still go hiking once to twice a week even after a snowfall (with the correct shoes) and find it to be so refreshing. Remember, even when it’s cold out, it is still so important to get outside, breathe in fresh air and connect to nature. Going for simple walk for 20-30 minute is definitely helpful as well.
Sending you my love and I hope some of these tips will inspire you to keep moving during the months ahead!
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Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author and the website are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.