The New Year is when millions of people vow to get in shape. It also happens to be January, one of the coldest times of the year in many parts of the country. Fortunately, you can get in shape this winter with these ten effective ideas. Try a few to help you achieve your new healthy body.
1. Walk twice a day
Walking is often an underrated exercise. You don’t have to run or even break a sweat to burn calories and tone muscle. Walking twice a day is even better than once because it helps eliminate waste from all your muscles throughout the day. It also helps keep your metabolism up so that you burn more calories. Walking is a simple and free exercise that’s suitable for people of different ages. Walking is not about immediate results, but regular walking sessions have a cumulative effect on your body and help avert heart disease, stroke, excess weight and rheumatic diseases. Moreover, a brisk walk outside is a great mood booster and stress reliever.
2. Start running
If walking isn’t enough for you, try running. Running is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercises. Running outdoors is ideal, especially if you can run on varied terrain. Include hills and hiking trails to hit muscles that you would miss on level roads. If you can’t get outside because of the cold or poor weather, use a treadmill. It’s important to warm up before running. It preps your muscles for physical activity and eliminates the risk of injuries. The beginners should always start with 15 minute walking, followed by jogging, and conclude with running. Jogging early in the morning energizes you and makes your day more productive.
3. Go for winter hikes
Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Winter hikes have many extra benefits to regular hiking. Walking in snow will tone your muscles in ways that regular walking or running can’t. Try snowshoeing in deeper snow. Depending on the intensity, you can burn from 400 to 1000 calories. Not only does snowshoeing tone your muscles, it also develops your endurance, strength and swiftness. While climbing and descending a slope, working your way through a deep snow and breaking a trail, you engage every muscle group of your body. Snowshoeing is a cheap, fun and highly efficient winter activity to keep fit during a cold season.
4. Join a gym
If you don’t have a treadmill, join a gym to gain access to one. A gym membership is also a great way to tone your entire body. Some gyms include classes and a swimming pool. Paying for a gym membership can help motivate you to stay on track. You don’t want to waste the cost of your membership. Use it every week. Moreover, gym membership also implies access to various amenities like yoga classes, sauna and spa. If you don’t know where to start, you can ask for a professional assistance. Fitness experts will compile an appropriate fitness program and nutrition for you and provide you with useful tips on how to make your workouts more effective. When training in the gym you’ll always know your body mass index and body fat percentage. When you see your progress, it’s easier to stay motivated.
5. Try workout videos
Can’t get outside? Invest in a few workout videos. There are thousands on the market ranging from easy, simple workouts to tough workouts that will kick you into shape fast. Start with one DVD to see how you like it before spending a lot on a whole program. There are lots of free workouts available on YouTube as well. Without spending time on commute and preparation, you can carve out additional minutes for your trainings.
Workout videos vary in duration, most of them are divided into several mini-sets, so you can easily insert them into your daily routine. Moreover, most people find it much more comfortable to exercise at home rather than in public. Exercising with fitness DVD at home is a good way to encourage your family work out with you.
6. Take a local dance class
Some local towns and villages offer free classes such as aerobics or Zumba. Check your local community college to find dance classes including ballroom dancing, salsa, jazz and other popular dance forms. You can burn a lot of calories, increase strength and enjoy yourself. Furthermore, dancing is the surest way to improve your poor posture and strengthen your back muscles. It’s also a great way to get fit with a friend or spouse. I was always afraid to look ridiculous on the dance floor and I didn’t dance even at home when I was alone. But nobody cares how well you move if you really enjoy yourself. 20 minutes of energetic movements to music each day will help you get in shape this winter.
7. Take up a new winter sport
Winter sports are considered more effective than summer ones, since your body uses up more energy to work out in colder environment. Winter sports usually involve great extreme, burst of adrenalin and positive emotions. Try something new like skiing, snowboarding or ice skating. Take your husband and kids outdoors in the fresh air and get them involved in fun and lively winter sports. Find something that takes advantage of the cold weather and snow. Varying your activities throughout the year will keep your body in better shape because it won’t adapt.
8. Get an exercise buddy
Exercising with a friend will keep both of you motivated. Set up walking dates with friends instead of going out to lunch. Invite friends to come to exercise classes. It’s important to have support to keep you going. If you’re not a determined self-starter, exercising with a partner can be a great way to stay motivated and encouraged. When you exercise together, time goes by faster and your workouts become something to look forward to. You will also feel a healthy competition and strive for better results. Having an exercise partner means you have someone to share your happiness and achievements when you make progress.
9. Make a plan
You probably won’t get very far without a plan. Come up with specific fitness goals and keep track. Take your measurements and complete an exercise strength test once a month to monitor your progress. Setting a goal and defining the time frame are the critical factors of your success when it comes to fitness. Your fitness plan will depend on whether you want to lose or gain weight, build muscles or just keep fit. First of all you should assess your fitness level to understand what exercise routine you need. Don’t make your fitness routine too complicated and wearisome. Instead, stick to regular, low-impact workouts that are easier to perform and more beneficial to your body.
10. Eat healthy
Exercise won’t do nearly as much if you aren’t eating healthy, too. Cut out the junk food and increase your intake of fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and proteins. Once the holidays are over, you have no excuses. However, you can manage eating healthy even during a holiday season. Whenever you’re invited to the party or celebration try to bring your healthy treats. Never leave your house hungry since you risk overeating at the party or splurging at the grocery store. Eating your breakfast will help prevent overeating during the day. Finally, you should always control what you’re filling your plate with.
It’s not easy to stay in shape when the weather is bad and you just want to curl up with a blanket and read a book or watch a movie. At first, you’ll have to push yourself, but after a while, it will become a habit. Give yourself thirty days and the habit will be formed all year long. Do you enjoy exercising during the cold winter months?