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Winter is the season human beings wish they can sleep through, much like bears hibernate. However, if you were physically active during the warmer months, not exercising during winter is simply not an option. By doing so you would lose all that hard-earned muscle mass and agility, which could affect your overall health in a negative way. Let us see some ways to stay fit outside the gym during the cold months now.
Most people think that a membership in a gym is their ticket to staying active during winter months. Without it, they would simply be lost, because they are not professional athletes. Skiing, ice hockey, and ice-skating are all nice, but they aren’t really recreational, but rather professional sports that cannot be taken up by anyone. That is why ordinary folks resort to gyms which are ideal for staying fit, but not overexercising.
Also, some are warn off by the fact that days are shorter and the nights are longer during winter time, so it would be impossible to find time to exercise properly. That is why all activity during cold times should be moderate, but it should nevertheless be practiced, no matter how cold it is outside. Instead of hibernating your body, we recommend that you read on how you can stay fit during winter months without having to go to the gym. Yes, you have read it correctly, there are numerous ways how to achieve this outside the gym.
Also check out this previous article of How to Setup a Home Based Gym On A Budget.
Staying warm and dry
If the cold outside is not particularly bitter, then exercising out in the open is a real possibility. This is bound to happen at least a couple of times during the winter months and it is even more likely that you would want to jog or play some sport. Whichever activity you choose, be sure to stay warm at all times. This way, you will do away completely with the danger of developing hypothermia or getting frostbites. The latter can be dangerous so in order to prevent them, make sure that every part of your body is covered with at least one layer of clothing.
In fact, layering up is crucial to staying both warm and dry during winter. You can always strip a layer or two of clothing during exercising and put them right back on after you have finished. That is why you shouldn’t leave the house without at least three layers of clothes, depending on how well you tolerate cold air.
Another thing is the type of clothing you wear, i.e. the fabric. Since you are likely to work out in a snow covered area, besides staying warm, you would want to stay dry as well. This is achieved through clothes that repel moisture. Most sportswear is made from such fabrics, as cotton and other ordinary clothes are unsuitable. They soak in the water and you will get a cold in no time if you don’t take such clothes off immediately. That is why one layer of clothes should always be waterproof.
One trick to staying active during winter when you are not venturing outside too often is to turn everyday objects into workout machines. One such example is the staircase. You probably have at least one flight of it in your house and at work, but you haven’t really thought much of it. In fact, you might have been avoiding them up until this moment and considered them an undesired physical effort. Well, they are ideal for exercising, as they provide a high-intensity cardio and legs workout. They require no special preparation, other than a change in the mindset. Train yourself to always take the stairs and perceive them as a possibility for a good workout. You can increase the number of steps you climb daily, opting not to choose the elevator. This can be really useful if your office is located on the 10th floor, it would be a great warm-up for work. Additionally, you can speed up the climbing process and think of yourself as a runner. Finally, you can place the front part of your foot on the edge of the stairs, your toes firmly holding grip. Then you start lowering the rear end of the feet along with the rest of your body up and down. This is an ideal exercise for the calf muscle.
The right diet
“You are what you eat” and never is this more true than during periods when there is a surplus of food and the lack of physical exercise. Winter time with the holiday season is associated with the danger of obesity. That is why a proper, healthy diet is a must during the cold spell. This means that you have to eat cooked food which has to be healthy at the same time. This can be tricky as it requires both time and the effort to prepare such food. That is why many people simply resort to junk food, but this is the wrong way to go. An unhealthy diet could spell disaster for all your fitness goals. Winter months are the time you need to start thinking about home delivered meals as a dietary alternative. There are food companies out there who specialize in preparing ready-made meals with an athlete’s needs in mind. This way, not only will you eat healthy cooked meals that you didn’t waste any time preparing, but you will be taking in enough protein to keep you exercising throughout the winter.
Some people enjoy working out in the cold, and it is no wonder why, since medicine has proven that it is easier to work out when it is cold outside. For the rest of us who shy away from the bitter cold outside, our home could be transformed into a gym. A simple YouTube search or a small investment into workout DVDs can turn your living room into a fitness studio. The most common types of exercise are aerobic ones, such as Pilates or Zumba. If you decide to purchase exercise equipment, then you can do other types of workout as well. Dumbbells, bands, a skipping rope, and a fitness ball can all be used to isolate every group of muscles you want and build up stamina in the process. Another benefit to these workouts is that they are almost all at the same time fat-burning workouts. In just half an hour of exercising, you will burn more calories than you would do running or using the gym.
Use the snow to your advantage
If you take all the precaution measures listed above, mainly layered and waterproof clothing, then you can use the snow outside to your advantage. Find an open space, as a meadow in a park or a football pitch covered with snow where you can do all sorts of activities, such as running, jogging or even skipping through the snow. Not only will you feel like a kid again, but all that snow will add resistance to your training thus increasing the efficiency of every move. Why use weights or concrete slabs when you can use snow as a natural counterweight.
Staying fit during winter months without paying for a gym membership is not an impossible mission. As you have seen above there are numerous ways to stay fit outside the gym and also how to achieve this goal and make the most out of an otherwise dormant period of the year. Just change your mindset and see the cold and the snow as your aids and you are one step closer to a physically active winter time.