Let’s face it, no one wants to hit the streets on a cold rainy day, yet exercise is more important than ever in winter when stodgy foods threaten to pile on the pounds. The secret to keeping active in the coldest months is to ‘mix it up’ and test drive exercise in totally new contexts. Just be sure to check with your doctor before you begin your exercise plan.
Whatever exercise you set out to accomplish, treat yourself to some appropriate leisure gear. After all, getting active in a puffer jacket and fleece pants isn’t going to cut the mustard! Whether you go all out new or head online for some pre-loved clothing, be sure to choose light, close-fitting pants and tops. And because you’re new-found exercise will be indoors, layers are the look to go for.
This winter, make escalators and lifts a thing of the past. Head to the tallest building you can find that has a public access stairway (parking buildings are great because they’re not too warm) – and get climbing. Start out slowly to warm up before you build up speed. Use the stop-watch function on your wristwatch to challenge yourself to increase pace. And enjoy coming back down – it may not build up your heart rate but it will be exercising your muscles.
Grab a workout DVD
Head to the library for a workout CD. Pull the curtains (if you favour privacy) and turn up the volume! Exercising to music is a great way to keep fit and have fun at the same time. Invite a friend over, or make a date with your grandkids – and see how the time flies when you exercise with company.
Pedal to a movie
Most exercycles are a 9-day wonder – which is why so many of them are stored down the back of garages. It’s also why they go for a song on Trademe (so if you don’t already have one, you know where to look!). Turn otherwise boring exercycling into an hour or more of absolute pleasure by tuning into a favourite movie while you cycle! Just remember to keep the sparkling water bottle handy!
Window washing to music
Most of us clean windows in spring and summer when that bright light streaming in reminds us of the grime! But winter window washing is a great way to get exercising indoors – and doubly fun when you do it to music. So make yourself a playlist of your favourite tunes and reach for the bucket and brush!
Nothing is warmer than a heated pool in winter – and while you could join an aqua jogging class, or clock up laps, you’ll be surprised how much more exercise you’ll get when you and a friend toss around a light foam ball. Check with your local pool for the best time of day to be active – and don’t forget to finish off your exercise with a soak in the spa.
Walking window shopper
Love window shopping? Then put on your trainers and head to the mall. The average brisk walker covers 6 kilometres in an hour – that’s a lot of shops to peek into as you pass. And while you’re at, be sure to suss out the best café for a reward coffee when you’ve finished your exercise!