Now that winter solstice is behind us, we’ve got longer days ahead, but we still have to endure the better part of the next three months with shorter and darker days, which has a tendency to make it more of a challenge(mentally and sometimes environmentally) to get the exercise we need.
Knowing this pattern of short and dark days comes annually, you’d think we’d be used to it and better prepared. But the good news is, now that it’s on YOUR radar, you can apply the following tips to keep you sparked for the activity that will keep you feeling awesome.
Expand Your Idea of “Exercise“
Our grandparents came from an age when nearly no one attended a gym regularly, yet the population as a whole was less overweight and more fit.
Partly to do with better portion sizes and less indulgent eating, along with the combination of good old fashioned hard work in the form of chores.
Think winterized garden upkeep, shoveling, hand-washing the floor(yeah, yeah..it’s not glamourous but is it ever rewarding!), and anything else that gets your heart rate up around the house.
HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) is a highly effecient and incredibly effective workout that can be done anywhere, especially in your home.
These workouts can be anywhere from 8-15 minutes long, but they take work. Here’s an example of how it’s done:
You pick 6-10 exercises and perform 10-12 sets of each, moving on to the next exercise with NO BREAK in between.
Right Leg Lunges:10 reps
Leff Leg Lunges:10 reps
Narrow Squats: 10 reps
Wide Squats: 10 reps
Side Lunges Right Side: 10 reps
Side Lunges Left Side: 10 reps
Plank Hold: 15 seconds
Doing 3-4 sets of these will put you around 10 mintues and no doubt your heart rate will be cranking and keep a towel nearby because you’ll be breaking a sweat.
You can visit YouTube and do a search on HIITworkouts to find thousands of engaging workouts, allowing you to change them up daily to keep you from getting bored.
Prepare For the Weather:
Walking outside in the cold is not only excellent for your respiratory function and brain activity, the circulation and low impact from walking can’t be beat.
Bringing gloves, scarf, a hat, and warm boots will help you enjoy the walk without focusing on the cold.
Not only will you feel excellent after a 20-40 minute walk, but you’ll be pusing yourself outside of your routine which will keep you interested in finding fun ways to keep your health on track.
Get a Buddy:
An accountability partner for workouts is an age-old solid plan. Sometimes, as much as we want to get or stay healthy and strong, we don’t put ourselves first enough to keep ourselves in workout mode. But if we have a friend that we’re checking in with or workign out with, the idea of letting them down is typically enough for us to stay on track.
The buddy system here plays on every level. Wether you’re physically meeting up at a location, for a walk, for in home HIIT workouts, or your doing a virtual check in using skype sessions or a Facebook Watch Party for HIIT workouts.
Not only will it help you, but it will help your buddy keep on with their goals too.