Published on October 31st, 2012 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles0
Invigorating & Fun Winter Workouts
It seems like just yesterday I was outside running the trails wearing only a tank top and light running shorts. Ahh you can’t beat the soul cleansing feeling of walking or running outside while soaking up the sun. But now it’s November… it’s getter colder, darker when you leave work, and the extra calorie holidays are just a few weeks away. So how do we keep from spending the winter months snuggled up inside by the fireplace with a mug a hot chocolate, glued to the tube?
While it’s tempting to turn into a couch potato during the winter (30 percent of people don’t exercise at all during the winter months), it’s also a good time to try some invigorating activities. Exercise helps you shed the holiday flab, while increasing your overall energy and quality of life. And, even if you live in an area where the thermometer doesn’t go south of 70, there are still ways to enjoy the cooler days. Whether you’re up on a mountain, or zipping around a skating rink bear in mind you actually burn more calories exercising in the winter because your body has to work harder to keep itself warm.
Brisk Walking or Jogging
Consistently walking or jogging helps you to burn fat, decrease your blood pressure, resting heart rate and cholesterol. Cold, wind and snow needn’t slow you down if you dress appropriately with thin layers to keep you warm. Since colder temps tend to make our bodies less flexible and more prone to injury, make sure you take time to stretch and warm up. Wear deeper treaded shoes for better traction to avoid slipping on wet, slick or icy roads. Getting a buddy to commit to working out with you really helps you both to stay motivated.
Enjoy the fresh snow? Sweet! One of the great things about cross-country skiing is that you go through a whole body workout while playing in the snow. It’s also a great way to get into the woods while getting your heart rate up. Swinging your arms to propel you forward offers awesome resistance to your chest and arms. All things considered, an hour of cross-country skiing burns around 450-500 calories per hour.
Even if you live somewhere where snow and mountains seem as mythical as Santa, you may still be blessed with an indoor skating rink. Even if you’re a first-timer, friends can lend a hand to help you out on that first lap. Keep your ankles straight and your eyes off the men, and you’ll be on your way to burning up to 500 calories per hour.
Escape the winter blahs and find your inner zen with yoga. We naturally have less energy to burn during the winter so its important to stay balanced by keeping our bodies in sync. Yoga increases our circulation while building muscle holding those tough poses. If you’re a morning person it’s really a great way to wake up the body. There are tons of good yoga videos, or if you prefer you can join a local class.
Briskly walking around the Mall can be lots of fun while burning calories. It’s a great way to share exercising with friends or loved ones, and you might even find that bargain window-shopping as you cruise by. Or better yet a hot man! Some malls even open their doors as early as 7am to accommodate mall walkers before the stores open. Walking at the mall is free, and when you’re talking to friends, you are not focused on the time, which makes you likely to walk for longer and burn more calories.
Don’t feel like warming up the car to go to the gym? Invest in some of today’s most popular new fitness DVD’s and get fit in your own living room. They are also a great way to start getting toned at home before heading back to the gym. There are many wonderful videos to sculpt your abs, back and strengthen your core. A few of the best are:
- Yogalates DVD by Louise Solomon
- David Kirsch’s Bootcamp DVD
- The Body, Lean and Lifted – Stretch Yourself Slim in 30 days by Marjo Putkisto
- Power Yoga by Yogi Askokananda
Join A Gym for the Winter
If exercising outdoors in the winter months is not you’re thing. Consider joining a gym during the colder months. There’s lots of great eye candy and there’s nothing more relaxing then sitting in the sauna after your workout when its freezing outside. Some gyms even have inside running tracks if walking or running on a treadmill doesn’t appeal to you. It’s also a great time to consider hiring a personal trainer for a workout that is specifically geared towards your needs. Working out with a personal trainer really helps you to maximize the time spent in the gym.
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