We all know what happens when the first big freeze sends you diving for the snooze button. Bypassing those morning runs won’t mean a lot when you only do it once or twice. But let it become a habit and before you know it, that fine summer figure will be a thing of the past.
It isn’t immediately obvious but skipping the daily workout can cost you more than a beach-ready body. Exercise has far-reaching benefits for both your mental and physical health.
Exercise pays off in many ways
Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it also boosts your positive, motivating emotions, too. Part of this is biology — the body is regulating itself during exercise, but it also has to do with seeing and feeling the results of your efforts.
We all know that regular exercise results in better health, improved moods and increased fitness. But did you know exercise helps you cope with the winter blues, boosts energy and promotes better sleep?
Another plus factor is exercise fights the aging process. Making time for daily movement will boost muscle tone and flexibility for a fit and healthy future.
If cold weather has forced you inside and all you want is to curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate, you could use some motivation.
How about your clothing? Those baggy sweaters and comfy jeans are cozy and warm and hide an expanding waistline. Keep tabs on your shape by wearing fitted clothing and an extra pound or two won’t be able to sneak up on you.
Music is a wonderful motivator. Any great beat will work but there’s nothing better than your favorite tracks. If you like to dance, crank up the music and go for it. It is a great tool to raise your heart rate and keep you limber and toned.
Staying focused on your fitness isn’t always easy. What you may need is an accountability partner to provide support and encouragement. Team up with like-minded friends and help each other stay on track.
Join a gym and try a new workout class like Zumba or Pilates. If you’re feeling the cold, a good cardio session will warm you up. And, the atmosphere of the gym where everyone is on the same mission to stay healthy and fit is a major incentive.
Make the process fun by trying something new. Look for places where other people are doing activities you enjoy like indoor rock climbing, dancing or martial arts.
Technology gives you options
Harness the power of technology to get yourself moving. If you’re stuck for inspiration and getting bored with crunches, try incorporating some up-to-date solutions. Fitness apps are big news with literally thousands available to choose from. With a little bit of research you should find the one that’s perfect for your needs. Active.com reviews some of the best apps for this year.
Video games aren’t usually associated with health and fitness but as interactive technology goes mainstream, PlayStation Move, Nintendo’s Wii Fit or Xbox Kinect might just be you fitness answer.
Exercise videos and DVDs are available for everything you can imagine. From yoga to weight training there’s a range of resources to fit your circumstances. A video will give you a new workout regime to break up the monotony of indoor exercise.
Traditional home based workouts
There’s nothing wrong with a treadmill or trampoline for a good workout. Tramping your way through a treadmill session can be painless if you watch your favorite show while walking.
How about jumping on a mini trampoline? It increases your balance, speeds up your metabolism, boosts circulation and tones your body while you jump — and it’s fun.
You don’t need to compromise your health just because it’s cold outside. Everyone has to work at keeping fit in colder weather. Find the option that works for you, start exercising and keep your summer body in great shape.
Contributing blogger – Jason Lewis
Jason Lewis is passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free. He created StrongWell.org to share his tips on senior fitness.