Weather Hacks

Moving Workouts Indoors This Winter

Just because winter weather doesn’t let you get outside to jog, play tennis, bike or do your other favorite outdoor workout activities doesn’t mean you have to cut back on your exercise or do boring activities indoors. Planning your indoor exercise in advance lets you create more opportunities – and motivation – to avoid packing on the pounds when you’re stuck indoors.

Create a Home Gym
You don’t need to spend big bucks to create your own home gym. You can dedicate a room or an area in your home for a full-time workout space, or store a few items in a spare room you can turn into your fitness center at a moment’s notice. Put the following items in your workout room:

  • Exercise mat or carpet remnant you can roll out on a hard floor
  • Resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebell, jump rope or ab roller
  • Table for water bottle, cell phone, iPod, towel
  • Computer, TV or VCR for video workouts you can follow

Set a Schedule
You’ll be more likely to stick to exercise if you set a schedule and stick to it. This will not only remind you it’s time to get off the couch, but also make you feel guilty about skipping your workouts.

Plan Your Snacking
The more time you spend indoors, the more you’re around the kitchen, refrigerator and pantry. This can lead to impulse eating. Keep healthy, low-calorie snacks in your refrigerator and set times each day for a mid-morning and afternoon snacking. Control portion sizes by buying individual snacks, or put fresh veggies, nuts or other snacks in plastic sandwich bags.

Hydrate and Humidify
People often mistake thirst for hunger and grab a snack when they’d be fine with a glass of water. Dry indoor air caused by heating can exacerbate thirst at home or in the office. Make it a point to drink two or three extra glasses of water each day if you’re worried about overeating this winter. Buy a humidifier to counter the effects of dry air that come with higher temperatures in your home during cold months. You’ll also do your skin a favor by keeping your air humidified.

Burn Calories While Watching TV
When people can’t get outdoors for their regular physical activities, they often end up watching more TV. You can burn lots of calories while watching the tube without doing a full workout. Keep a set of dumbbells or resistance bands by your TV and use them during shows, or at least during commercial breaks. If you have a road bike, buy a bike stand and pedal away during the news or a movie. Jog in place during commercial breaks or do a few other light calisthenics. You don’t need to exercise for 30 minutes or break a sweat to elevate your heart rate, work your muscles and burn calories during moderately intense exercise.

Use Your Stairs More
Walking stairs is a great way to work your muscles and burn calories. Take advantage of this great piece of exercise “equipment” and make stair walking or running a regular part of your winter health and fitness routine. Try it once for five minutes and you’ll be surprised how challenging it is.

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