We talk about staying active and healthy during the cold months. We tell ourselves over and over that this year we are going to be good. But time and time again, we don’t follow through on our goals. And we beat ourselves up for it.
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing 1,000 times and expecting different results. So let’s try a new approach.
Don’t buy exercise equipment. Not a treadmill, not even an exercise band. Don’t wake up at the crack of dawn to go for a jog. You will not enjoy it, especially during these cold months. Instead, do these simple at-home exercises that require nothing more than your body and a little bit of gumption. When done together, this unofficial program can strengthen your entire body.
Here are a few ways to stay active to get you started:
You may have to push through some painful P.E. memories with this one, but pushups are an amazing upper-body exercise nonetheless. Get down and bust out a set or two before going to sleep. Try timing yourself to see how many you can do in 1 minute, and watch how quickly you improve over the winter. I’ll do it if you do it.
This elusive feat will likely discourage you for the first little bit. But the proof is not in the pudding. Every time you stretch to touch your toes, your muscles and the elastic tissue holding them together lengthen. The longer you hold a stretch, the greater your flexibility increases. Keep at it consistently, and over time you may even be able to accomplish the task you set out to do! Gumbie would be proud.
Feeling the laziness in your quads and glutes? Seat yourself against a free space of wall, keep your knees and hips at a right angle, and see how long you can last. The seconds will seem like minutes. Try putting on some relaxing music and soaring to your happy place. Wall sits aren’t one of the more fun ways to stay active, but they are highly effective. If you make this exercise a daily habit, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to improve by at least one second each time.
I’ll admit, this one is a challenge for me. Despite it working multiple muscle groups, including the lower back, if you do it wrong you could end up hurting your back or neck instead. Follow proper guidelines for correctly performing a sit up (no shame in Googling it, friends). As you dive into this versatile regimen, you will build muscle in the chest, lower back, neck, and hip flexors. It can also do wonders for your posture.
Most of us hoi polloi don’t have pull-up bars located around the house. That’s why we have chairs, or, at least that’s a reason.
Lifting weights is still a very effective form of exercise. But who says they need to be shaped like a dumbbell? As you get creative around the house, you’ll find that opportunities to build muscle mass are around every corner. Put Gavin McInnes’ “stay-at-home-dad workout” to the test.
Working out and staying active during the cold season isn’t necessarily easy, but it doesn’t have to be inconvenient. With these and a multitude of other creative ways to stay active around the house, you can stay fit no matter what comfort food, cold weather, or desserts get thrown your way.