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Living Healthy

Maintain Wellness with Indoor Workouts for Exercising in the Winter

November 23, 2021

As the weather turns cold and the days get shorter, it is important to find what works for you to keep moving and stay healthy. And though it can be tempting to curl up on the couch, exercising in the winter can help you stay in shape and prepare for spring weather. It also helps fend off colds and flus, burn off that holiday weight, and keep you happy and motivated when you’re missing that warm sunshine.

Research shows if you take a break from your fitness routine during the winter months, you can experience:

  • A 20% decrease in cardiopulmonary fitness within just three to eight weeks of not exercising.
  • A loss of any improvements you gained over time.
  • Resorting back to the “couch potato” fitness level within three to six months of not exercising.
  • Difficulty losing the winter weight gained even when you start exercising again.

Studies have also shown that continually exercising throughout the year provides positive mood enhancement, weight control, more energy, less stress, better sleep, and a lower chance of depression.

And, no matter what exercise you enjoy most, plenty of indoor alternatives can keep you moving for a happier, healthier winter.

Here are eight suggestions for a fitness routine through the chilly winds and icy conditions this winter. It might take you a few tries to find an indoor workout you love, but don’t give up – you might just find your new favorite activity. Of course, it is important to consider the COVID-19 protocols in your area when it comes to indoor classes and exercise. The Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 website is a great resource to stay aware of best practices.

Try a yoga class

Yoga provides a relaxing way to stay fit during the colder months – and can be done at a local yoga studio or from the comfort of your own home. Yoga can be one of the most beneficial activities to effectively treat winter-related health issues including managing chronic joint pain, respiratory care, skin care, mood improvement, and stress management.

Do at-home workouts in your living room

Whether you stream videos on YouTube or use a fitness app like MyFitnessPal, Daily Yoga, or Sweat, many options are available for little to no cost. Some require minimal equipment like dumbbells or a resistance band, but most consist of bodyweight exercises you can do almost anywhere in your home.

Join a local gym or group fitness center

You can do a lot to stay fit and active in your home, but a lack of equipment, space, and environment might hinder your at-home workouts. Consider joining your local gym or group fitness center this winter to stay motivated, stay healthy and fight that holiday weight gain. You might even meet some new friends while you’re at it!

Go for an indoor spin

A spin class might just be the thing for you if riding a bike in sleet, snow, and other winter weather just doesn’t seem appealing. Studies show that indoor cycling classes burn calories, help to lower blood pressure, trim fat, and strengthen bones. Indoor rides also help strengthen your glutes, thighs, calves, and core.

Lap it up in the pool

Head to your local gym or community center’s indoor pool to get in some laps before summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just a few laps of this low impact exercise daily improves overall health and reduces the risk for chronic diseases. Plus, the buoyancy of water allows people with sore joints or muscles to exercise far longer in water.

Lace up your skates

Head to your local indoor ice-skating rink to burn some major calories! According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, ice skating at a moderate pace burns about 500 calories per hour! And aside from the fun, skating tones your legs, core, and glutes, along with smaller, stabilizing muscles that assist with balance and coordination.

Kick it up a notch

Combining karate-style kicking with boxing punches, kickboxing brings the best of both worlds to give your upper and lower body a serious workout. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, kickboxing can burn about 720 calories an hour for excellent weight loss potential. Also, one study showed that just five weeks of kickboxing classes three times per week builds upper body muscle strength, aerobic conditioning, flexibility, speed, and agility. And, if you have the equipment at home, YouTube is filled with kickboxing workouts.

Get to know TRX

Ever heard of suspension training? TRX is a portable suspension trainer that uses your own bodyweight to work the entire body, including the core – all while you battle against gravity. The best part: All exercises can be modified depending on your fitness level, making it a worthwhile workout.

A chill in the air isn’t the reason to abandon your health and fitness routine during the winter months. Try one of the many options at your local gym or at home to stay healthy and stay fit. Find a workout you enjoy and maintain your well-being through the cold months ahead.