By Heather Jabusch
Just because we are not going to the beach in our bikinis when it’s cold outside does not mean we do not want to look just as fit during the winter time. The best way to stay in shape is to continue your healthy diet and exercise plan year round. Since some peoples’ preferred workout methods can be restricted by weather, here are 5 unique ways to stay fit during the winter time so you can keep or get closer to your healthy living goals.
Zumba is the new way to dance your way to a lean and fit body. It is a Latin inspired dance-fitness program that is spreading fast across the nation. Keep in mind; you do not have to be a dancer to do this. I have all the DVD’s and they teach you the moves step by step. I have also been to classes held at multiple gyms in both Louisiana and Texas and it is tons of fun. There are different types of teachers and finding the right teacher for you is probably the hardest part. The one in Texas was like being on a dance line at a bar, as the lights were dimmed and the music was pumping. The atmosphere really helped me not be shy about whether I was doing the moves correctly and more importantly kept me moving. One of the ones in Louisiana seemed to be more focused on teaching the correct moves and fine tuning your technique, which are also very important for an ultimate work out. Either way, after I do Zumba, I am soaking wet from the work out and my muscles are sore the next day. Tip: if Zumba is not a good fit for you, try belly dancing.
Exergames are gaining more popularity with the rage of new video game consoles. Nintendo even came out with the Wii Sport and Wii Fit programs to encourage adults to use the same devices their kids are…just at night while they are sleeping. I have done the Wii Sport where you can simulate a skiing experience. It is not as effective as going out in the snow and walking up the mountains, but if you are snowed in, it will challenge your body and give you that core work out you desire and love. They also have more tailored programs with the pressure sensitive Wii Fit Balance Board which helps you maintain a center of balance and thus a more effective work out. This game not only remembers you, but calculates your BMI (Body Mass Index) and assigns you a Wii Fit age for you to grow from. Workouts with personal trainers are available under strength training, aerobics, yoga, and balance games.
Treadmills are a great way to enjoy your walk/run/jog indoors. These can be found on eBay as low at $75 right now. If running/walking is your thing, you do not have to stop just because the weather outside does not permit. Turn on the television/radio and get your workout on in the comfort of your own home. If you have to get out of the house, then try the mall. My best friend and I used to go to the mall to walk on rainy days versus the cemetery. Tip: 2 places you might not have thought about for your work out.
Swimming is one of the best exercises that burns calories, boosts metabolism, and works out every muscle in your body; all while being easy on your joints. According to Women’s Health Magazine, water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body—especially your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and glutes. Find a gym or health club with an indoor pool and grab your swim suit!
Diet. You can do all the exercises you want, but if you are consuming more calories than your body can burn, it will catch up with you. Maintain a well balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Avoid temptation by bringing your own lunch and snacks with you when you are out and about or at work. Keep yourself motivated by finding new recipes that excite your mind and tastes buds. Tip: Use new tools like Pinterest to get new ideas for healthy meals and snacks.
Keep in mind how beneficial it is to do more than one type of exercise. If you always do yoga, try some strength training to add to your work out. If you only lift weights, add some cardio to help keep your work out well rounded. Remember that your muscle mass decreases as you age and what you used to do might not be enough to keep you fit today. Mix it up to keep it new and challenging for your body.
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