Beat the Cold: Don’t Let Winter Keep You from Working Out

Pushup by manWinter can be a rough time for people who want to stay in shape. It’s often too cold to venture outdoors, which can put a crimp in anyone’s workout regimen. Joining a gym is an option, but it isn’t always convenient to hop in the car and go exercise in a crowded room full of people with the same idea.

For many, winter is a down time when it comes to exercise, a lull in the action until warm weather returns and it’s time to limber up the bicycle, or strap on the running shoes once again. It’s no wonder that people who are normally fit and trim tend to pick up some weight in the off-season. If this sounds like you, you need a way to exercise in the comfort and privacy of your own home, activities that can keep you on track.

Fortunately, all it really takes is a little space, some willpower and a genuine desire to emerge from the cold months without a potbelly or love handles. There are many exercises that can be done in almost any room of your house without having to wheel out the furniture or knock out a wall.

Running indoors

If you lack a treadmill, you can always do some running in place. There are a number of running exercises that can give you an excellent cardio workout. Try beginning with 3 minutes of jogging in place to get yourself warmed up. You should gradually increase the pace as you pump your arms more vigorously and drive your knees higher. Work your way into a full sprint for about 1 minute, pause for a moment, then go into a lunge movement with your hands on the ground at either side, lowering yourself and alternating moving your legs backward and forward.

Do another 3-minute jog, then pick up the pace for a minute, elevating your knees as high as your chest for a minute, then do a set of leg extensions, alternating each one as you kick out sideways for a full minute. Then jog in place again for another 3 minutes followed by squats, doing 30 seconds on each leg as you go through a full minute of reps. If possible, do two repetitions of each exercise (or work your way up to it).

Keep it fresh

It’s important to mix things up a bit if you’re going to exercise alone at home. Include exercises that work different parts of the body. If you have a garage or a room with a vaulted ceiling, try jumping rope in 3- to 5-minute intervals, doing as many reps as you can. Stair stepping is a little less intense but it’ll help keep you active by stepping up and down on a stair or a chair. You can also perform this step exercise in front of the television.

Planking is a simple and effective way to work your core. Get in position for doing a push up, but instead of moving up and down hold the position for at least 30 seconds, extending each rep a few seconds each time. If you’re really into a minimalist form of exercise, try jumping up and down steadily for 3 minutes. You might be surprised at how hard you’re breathing and how much your calf muscles sting afterward. Rest a minute and try doing it again for 4 minutes.

Benefits for recovering addicts

Regular physical activity, no matter what time of year it is, can improve your mood and help you lose weight. It’s very helpful for individuals recovering from substance abuse, an approach that’s supported by mental health professionals. When seeking therapy for substance abuse, many counselors also recommend pursuing a physical wellness plan to combat not only the physical effects of substance use, but also to promote the general well-being of patients.

It’s recommended that everyone should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. That can be hard to do, particularly during cold days, but the good news is that you can do it however you choose, so long as you’re moving and doing it regularly. This winter, try a consistent routine of simple but vigorous exercises you can easily do at home.

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