Upping Your Exercise During the Winter
I do not know about where you live, but over here in Michigan, working out during the winter months can get a little tricky. As a mom to three kids six and under, I am always trying to find ways to sneak in a little physical activity. Here are a few tips and tricks that have worked for me. If you can not find time for the gym, or do not have a membership, these are great ways to kick up your physical activity during the chilly months, or anytime!
I tried this for the first time last week and loved it. I brought my two year old along in the stroller with some books and snacks. We did three laps of the mall and had banked 30 minutes of fast-paced walking. If you prefer a slower pace, that is great, too! Any kind of physical activity counts and will make your body happy! Maybe if you have an errand at the mall, try doing a few laps first and hitting the shops after as a little reward!
I used to depend on my husband to do all of the snow shoveling but in the last two years have found that it is one of my favorite ways to get some exercise in the winter. Walking and lifting are both great ways to build muscle and burn calories. Check with your doctor first to make sure it is an appropriate form of exercise for you!
No, I am not kidding. There are a few things I try to do at every trip to up my physical activity. The first is to park far away from the store to give myself an extra walk. Another is to do a lap around the store before starting my shopping. This way I can browse and check my list, with the added benefit of pushing a cart for some arm muscle strengthening.
Build an obstacle course
This is one of my children’s very favorites. Set up different stations in your house and rotate to the next one every 2-3 minutes. The stations could consist of running in place, push-ups, crunches, stretches, even small hand weights if you have them. Try to do the rotations for 20-30 minutes and voila! You got your workout in for the day!
Between the walking and repetitive arm pushing, you can burn tons of calories with vacuuming. Maybe you usually only do it once a week. Try upping it to twice a week just to increase your physical activity level. Your family will appreciate the clean house, too!
It is very important to check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise regimen. Just remember, exercise does not have to be a fancy class, or at a fancy gym, or with fancy equipment. Anything that you can do to get your body moving will be of great benefit to your health!
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