When running, walking or biking in the sunny, mild weather are among your preferred forms of exercise, you’re likely finding it difficult to lace up your sneakers and face the blistering cold of winter. If running through the snow and ice doesn’t sound enticing to you, you’re not alone. It’s common to lose motivation to workout during winter months. As such, we’ve compiled four fun and creative ways to keep your heart rate up this winter without having to brave the low temperatures.
This season, grab a friend or two and give these forms of exercises a whirl:
1. Hit the local pool
Though the warm, blissful days of summer may feel far away, don’t put away your bathing suits just yet. Swimming isn’t only a summer activity, and it’s certainly not for just the beach. While you’ve most likely spent many afternoons frolicking in the waves with friends, you may not have even realized you were burning calories and building strength at the same time.
In fact, swimming is an excellent full-body workout that doesn’t put as much pressure on your muscles or joints as other forms of cardio, such as running, Greatist explained. As a low-impact sport, swimming can help you stay in your best shape without putting too much strain on your body. Swimming laps or taking part in a water aerobics class are fun ways to stay active this winter. Best of all, most indoor swimming pool facilities, such as gyms or community centers, are equipped with saunas, so if you’re worried about being cold after your dip, think again.
2. Practice yoga
Great for improving flexibility, balance and strength, yoga is one of the many workouts conducive to the indoors. If you’re new to the practice, local studios provide a number of entry-level classes that can help get you started in a comfortable setting. Some gyms will even offer the first class free.
However, if you’re not trying to spend extra cash this winter, the Huffington Post outlined some of the best yoga channels on YouTube that make practicing yoga in your own home better than ever. One of the best sources for those who are new to yoga is Yoga with Adriene. The host promotes calming, easy-to-follow yoga without incorporating too many difficult poses. The channel provides a “30 days of yoga” series, providing a built-in goal for your winter workouts. Challenge yourself to see how much you can progress within the first month. Another good option is Strala at Home, which provides positions and movements that are simple to follow along with, the Huffington Post noted.
3. Host a dance party
For years, classes for Zumba, hip hop and Latin dancing have been popular forms of cardio offered at gyms across the country. While these workouts are great, you can get the same results and burn just as many calories by hosting a dance party in your home, according to Money Crashers. Dancing is a great total body workout that can cause you to work up a sweat.
Invite your friends over, blast your favorite music and throw your hands in the air as your legs move to the beat. Without the pressure of an instructor or other peers, you and your friends will have a blast singing and dancing. You may even wind up laughing, which is a great workout for yours abs! Best of all, you’ll feel rewardingly sore the next day – especially in your calves because dancing targets the legs.
4. Move while you tweet
Let’s face it: The average person spends several hours per day scrolling through Instagram photos, checking up on Facebook posts and retweeting friends and favorite celebrities. Most often, all of this social media use is done while sitting or laying in bed. Imagine if all of that time – or even some of it – was put toward exercise? That’s exactly why fitness blogger Carla Birnberg provided Hello Giggles readers with a challenge to always incorporate movement when using social media.
Birnberg explained how she always aims to stay active when posting her latest thought or photo to various social domains by incorporating wall sits and planks or even just walking around the room. You can also create challenges for yourself that may help to curb the use of technology and amp up your exercise. For example, do 10 jumping jacks before opening up the next app or complete one minute of crunches before you watch the next Netflix show. You’ll be surprised how quickly these little chunks of time can add up.
Whether swimming, flowing, dancing or simply moving this winter, set time aside with your BABY-G watch and you’ll be well on your way to preparing your body for the fun outdoor activities that arrive with spring weather.
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