Cold weather shouldn’t keep you from achieving your fitness goals. Losing weight and exercising is the number one New Year’s resolution in the United States, but unfortunately that also means it’s the number one broken, lost or forgotten resolution. Don’t let the colder temperatures and earlier sunsets turn you into a statistic. If you’re looking to keep your winter workout going strong, here are three ideas to keep you fit and focused.
Create a Home Gym
If the 5 p.m. darkness or the frigid temperatures make it hard to complete your winter workout, then repeat after me: There’s no place like a home gym. Believe it or not, you don’t need stacks of weights or expensive equipment to start a state-of-the-art home gym. What you need are the tools to help you build lean muscle, techniques to burn calories and space that is accessible and easy to use. Whether you remodel your guest room or carve out a corner in your living room, your home gym can help you meet your fitness milestones during cold weather with:
- Dumbbells: Add weight to lunges, squats, bicep curls and more to build muscle.
- High Intensity Interval Training: Alternate high energy workouts, like jumping rope or burpees, with slower-paced activities to boost your heartrate.
- Yoga: Roll out a yoga mat to work on balance and flexibility, not to mention nearly every pose helps you strengthen your core.
- Bosu Balance Trainer: Speaking of strengthening your core, not only can using a Bosu ball for exercises like push-ups and squats also work your abs, it’s a lightweight piece of equipment that’s easy to store.
- Resistance Bands: From chest presses to inner thigh exercises, resistance bands are easy to store and a fun way to add strength training to your fitness routine.
If you think low-fat yogurt is helping your waistline, you may want to think again. Many foods marketed as healthy, low-fat or diet are actually part of the weight-gain problem. In addition, everybody processes food differently, so without understanding how certain foods impact your fitness you could be undoing a lot of your hard work. That’s why keeping a food journal and tracking your nutrition can help you make it through the winter workout blues. You can download apps right on your phone, like wholesomeapp.com, which lets you see the breakdown of your meals. Getting an idea of how many carbohydrates, proteins, sugars and fats you eat in a meal will help you fill nutrition gaps. Wondering why that five-mile jog didn’t do much on the scale? Nutrition tracking apps can give you insight into how your diet is impacting your endurance, stamina and weight loss.
Reach for a Goal
One of the best ways to stay motivated during your winter workouts is to keep your eye on the spring horizon. Signing up for a race that kicks off when the weather warms up will motivate you to stick to your training plans. Take a spin class series to help you prepare for a 25-mile bike ride or purchase some cold weather running gear that will keep you warm as you train for a half marathon. You can also shoot for a goal that doesn’t have to wait until spring, but does require determination and commitment. Pick a challenging yoga pose you want to learn, like an arm balance, or a weight goal for the bench press that you can use to measure your progress.
Whether you workout in front of your TV or in a class at the gym, stay motivated during the winter by finding activities that challenge your body and stimulate your mind. Mix it up so you don’t get bored, and watch the winter months pass by much more quickly.
Article by Jason Lewis http://strongwell.org/