Here are some exercise ideas to get you out of hibernation and back in to the gym. It’s important to keep the big picture in mind. That is, your health, and maintaining or improving your body. Let’s fight off colds and flu this winter with exercise. Regular exercise boosts the immune system and improves mood. Although the weather is miserable, here are some no-excuses exercises that anyone can do regardless of the weather.
The first type of exercise is skipping. Skipping ropes are very inexpensive yet skipping is very effective for improving cardiovascular health and weight loss. The important thing is to wear comfortable shoes and use a lightweight rope. While skipping, stand up straight and look straight ahead. Try to make small fast jumps and gradually increase the amount of time skipping to 10 minutes without rest.
Kickboxing is a very popular way to exercise. It is great for weight loss and toning but also for stress relief and improving self-esteem. You can either do boxing with a personal trainer, or go to a group boxing class. In group boxing classes it’s important to take things slow, warm up properly, don’t lock out the elbow joint when punching and use the appropriate equipment if needed, such as wraps and gloves.
Get your running shoes on and jump on a treadmill. Running is one of the best cardiovascular workouts around and great for weight loss. It’s important to wear good footwear with a lot of cushioning. Running on treadmills is a lot easier on the knee and ankle joints than running outside on the footpath. Treadmills nowadays have suspension systems that provide shock absorption. Try running for 20-30 minutes up to 3 times a week. Adjust the resistance and angle of the treadmill for variation and for more of a challenge.
Many indoor pools are heated in the winter and swimming and water-based exercise provide a great total body workout. Water provides natural resistance and supports the body’s weight, reducing stress on joints. Water aerobics are a very safe way to train and often involves many movements using aquatic equipment and the natural resistance of water. Many indoor pools have swimming lanes and water aerobics classes. Try a class, it’s harder than you think.
Stretching is good for injury prevention, lengthening muscles, releasing tension and reducing pain. Many people do not incorporate stretching into their routine but it’s important to do so and can be done in your own home. The important thing about stretching is to warm up first for 5 minutes by doing some light cardio and to stretch to the feeling of mild discomfort not pain. Use these ideas to be physically active this winter.