The winter season is upon us, and that means festive holidays, lots of delicious home-cooked meals, and probably less exercise than we should be getting. The human body was designed to be in motion, and even just 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference. That gives you 23 hours and 30 minutes to celebrate, eat, and of course sleep!
The holidays don’t just take a toll our fitness motivation and diet plans, but they also have a way of draining our wallets. If an expensive gym membership isn’t in the budget this holiday season, here are a few tips for staying fit all winter long without breaking the bank.
Bundle Up and Get Out
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. If the temperature is mild, bundle up and go for brisk walks around the neighborhood after dinner. Start learning about and getting excited for winter sports to turn snowy, icy days into opportunities for fitness and family fun. To get your cardio in and burn holiday calories, borrow or rent a pair of snowshoes or cross country skis and head outside. Make sure to wear several layers of water-resistant clothing, hats, scarves, and gloves, and don’t forget to stay hydrated.
Work Up a Sweat in the Living Room
One of the easiest ways to workout is by popping in a DVD. There’s an endless supply of aerobics, dance, pilates, yoga, and kickboxing videos on the market that you can do from the comfort and warmth of your own home. To keep you focused on the screen and not on the dirty dishes sitting in the kitchen sink, clear some space and invite a friend or family member to join you for the workout. Some websites and online fitness resources even offer free streaming videos and downloads.
Invest in Home Equipment
To diversify your workout routine and prevent boredom, invest in a few basic pieces of fitness equipment that are reasonably-priced and portable. You can typically find a set of dumbbells, resistance bands, a jump rope, and a yoga mat at your local department store.
Don’t Forget About Swimming
The thought of plunging in a pool during the winter might not initially sound pleasant, but indoor pools are a great way to stay in shape all winter long. Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise that works the whole body, provides natural resistance training, and strengthens weak muscles and bones. Many communities have public pool that offer free or discounted rates during winter months.
Make the Most of Stairs and Errands
During the winter, any exercise is better than none at all. If you simply can’t find the time or motivation to get outside or work out at home, try turning your daily routines into fitness routines. Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. When shopping for gifts or running errands, park your car as far away from the store’s entrance as possible to squeeze in some extra steps.
Try scheduling your workouts as you would schedule anything else in your day, and use a journal to keep track of your progress. Make fitness a family affair throughout the year and depend upon your loved ones to keep you accountable for your health goals. Stay warm, stay active, and stay fit!