Thursday, January 28, 2010

Staying Fit during the Winter Months

Do you struggle with staying fit during the cold winter months? Most people find it much easier to get exercise in the warmer months from walking, biking, gardening, etc. The cold dark days of winter make me want to curl up under a blanket to read a good book or watch a movie, and of course EAT!
So how do we overcome the winter blues and get some exercise? Walking is always great. If it is too cold outside, a brisk walk through a mall can get your heart pumping. Joining a local Y or fitness club is an option for some people. These sites offer fitness classes, weight/exercise rooms and sometimes a pool. Many school districts offer community education classes at a nominal fee. There are a lot of great classes out there, like ballroom dancing, salsa dancing, yoga, aerobics, and much more. Bowling and indoor rock climbing are other fun activities that are popular in the winter. Activities like these also promote socializing and meeting new people. You might also use the winter months to do some of the home improvement projects you put off all year. Painting walls, wallpapering and sanding floors all provide some exercise. So what if your budget and schedule doesn’t allow for dance lessons or a bowling league? There are other options to do at home. Turn on your favorite television show and do some exercises while you watch. Start out by marching in place for 10 minutes. Use hand dumbbells or just soup cans to exercise your arms. With a can or weight in each hand, slowly bring your hands up from your sides by bending your elbows to do a bicep curl. Other great arm exercises you can do with these weights include an overhead press (lifting your arms straight up) or extending your arms straight out and making circles in the air. Try some stretches and lunges and finish up with some more marching in place. Before you know it, you’ve gotten 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, gotten your heart pumping and blood flowing, and hopefully prevented that extra winter weight gain.

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