With a chill in the air, and darker days ahead, we’re spending less time outdoors, and more time cozied up inside. Freezing morning temperatures don’t exactly inspire a 6 a.m jog, and finding the motivation to exercise this time of year can be more than a little challenging. Staying active is one of the most important ways to boost immunity, improve cardiovascular health, and maintain a healthy weight. Studies have also shown exercise to enhance mood during the darkness of winter when the seasonal blues start to kick in. While cycling and water skiing season may be over, there are still plenty of heart-pumping ways to move your body that don’t require a membership.
Walking is one of the best ways to incorporate movement into your day. Unless the weather outside gets frightful, recruiting a friend or canine companion for a brisk 30-minute walk is a refreshing way to get in your weekly cardio without hitting the gym. Bundle up, and head outdoors, or do some power laps around a shopping mall during in-climate weather. Keep your walking shoes by the door as a reminder to get moving, and if you’re a tech lover, fitness trackers can help you set a goal, and monitor your progress.
If you have to take it inside, online forums like YouTube offer hundreds of free workouts ranging from aerobics and weight training to yoga. Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour to squeeze in a sweat session, these options let you customize your workout to fit your schedule. Home exercise equipment doesn’t require much more than some handheld weights, and an internet connection, and won’t take up much real estate in your living room.
Of course, if you’re a winter sports enthusiast waiting for that first dusting of fresh powder, cross country, or downhill skiing is a fantastic way to stay fit. Not only is skiing one of the most popular sports for baby boomers, but the physical benefits of this total body workout are impressive. Along with a serious calorie burn, skiing works the core to keep it engaged during those twists, and turns, and targets the lower body. Cross country may be more low-key, but remember that treading snow is the same lower body burn you get trudging through sand.
Everything is more fun in numbers, and having a partner along can help keep you accountable, and motivated. Scheduling your workouts, and finding something that you truly enjoy will help set you up for success rain or shine.
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