Winter can be the time for reflecting on your health. It’s a time when we make promises to ourselves (usually in the form of New Year’s resolutions) about the habits we wish to improve on or cease. Adopting a healthy diet can be the first step towards shedding excess pounds.
Cold and inclement weather can be off-putting if you enjoy exercising outdoors, and for many, the gym is expensive, difficult to fit into busy schedules and simply lacks appeal. Here are some alternatives.
Exercise at home
Motivation is a key factor when it comes to turning our New Year’s resolutions into healthy new habits leading to higher levels of personal fitness. However, jogging in the cold winter on icy and dark roads is not a great incentive to motivation, so it may be best to learn to exercise indoors.
Thankfully, most homes can be quickly and easily converted into personal mini-gyms, and as temperatures drop even further it can be a great way to stay warm inside your house without turning up the heating.
Build a library of workout DVDs
At Christmas we are bombarded with promotional advertising for celebrity workout DVDs, aimed at pricking our guilty consciences. Repetitious viewing of any of these DVDs can quickly make exercise an annoying chore. The trick here is to have a wide variety of options so you can vary your workout routine, getting the results that you want without whilst staving off boredom. Being at home also provides access to all of your favourite entertainment, music and TV shows.
A great trick is to watch your exercise DVD using a laptop, enabling you to have a television or radio on in the background and combine getting fit with a fix of your favourite shows. If you’re short of workout DVD variety, check out the local library to see if they have a stock of exercise DVDs, or see if there are bargains to be had from your local charity shop to start building your collection.
Weight training without weights
There are a wide variety of exercises that use only the weight of your own body to train yourself, avoiding the need to purchase expensive equipment. Sit-ups, squats, press-ups, tricep dips, planks and lunges can all be practiced wherever your location.
There’s a wealth of advice on performing such exercises correctly on the internet and plenty of apps for your Smartphone that will mix and match simple exercise routines for you.
Get out and have some fun
Winter can be a great time for families and there are a whole host of winter activities that can be shared in the great outdoors. If it snows then get out with the kids and make a snowman, or go sledging.
Winter is the perfect time to explore the local countryside and walking and hiking are great ways to stay active and fight the flab. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be high-energy to have a long lasting and beneficial effect.