During the cold winter months – and especially when the roads are icy and covered with snow – it’s hard to get outside to walk or hike, cycle, play sports, and so forth. Shoveling and spreading ice melt is certainly a form of exercise, but most of us would prefer something a little more enjoyable. So, what are some ways that we can keep our body moving when the weather outside is frightful?
Of course, there are gyms and other indoor sports facilities. But let’s say that your budget is limited or maybe you don’t have the time, transportation, or desire to drive somewhere for your exercise. What can you do if you are stuck inside?
This is a form of exercise that you should be doing early and late in the day no matter what else you plan to do to keep moving. Doing simple stretching exercises helps to loosen up your body and get your joints and muscles ready for additional exercise as well as to help your body to recover after you have exercised.
Here are a couple of great sites to get you started:
These days, there is an almost unlimited supply of yoga offerings available via DVD and online. Yoga practices differ greatly, so do a little research to decide which one is best for you before you decide which practice to follow for your blood type and health conditions and especially before investing in paid materials or courses. That said, a well-designed yoga flow will give you an excellent workout for mind, body, and spirit, with minimal risk of injury to joints and muscles.
Hand weights can be incorporated into other forms of exercise if you are interested in building arm and upper body strength. A beginner set of neoprene hand weights of relatively low weights (pairs of 2, 3, and 5 pounds each, for example) with a holding stand can be purchased for under $30. You can also start with 1# cans from your pantry to see how it feels to use or add weights (hand weights are much easier to grab than cylindrical cans, of course). There are also weights that you can buy that fasten onto your wrists and ankles to avoid the need to hold anything.
I love using an exercise ball and was delighted to find this fun exercise combination of hand weights and an exercise ball (note: you can do these arm exercises with your weights without the ball as well):
You can also use hand weights by themselves as a form of strength training. In this case, you would probably start with 5# weights and increase the heaviness from there:
As with yoga videos, you can search YouTube and elsewhere and find many suggestions for using whichever kinds of hand weights you decide to get.
No equipment necessary! You can use any set of stairs as long as you have appropriate footwear (non-slip and with the right support for your stair surface. I live in an older home with 3 floors and LOTS of internal stairs plus lots of outside steps. The case from the main to the second floor has 14 steps including the top landing, and the case from the main floor to the basement has 12 steps, So I don’t even have to plan to do stair exercises – they are integral to daily living at my house!
If you’d like to be intentional about using stairs as a form of exercise, check out this link:
EXERCISE/RESISTANCE BANDS and JUMP ROPES
I first learned about exercise or stretch bands when I was in physical therapy recovering from rotator cuff surgery. Resistance bands have been referred to as the “great democratizer” of the exercise world, because they cost about the same as a one-month gym membership and a fraction of what other types of exercise equipment cost. But the benefits of resistance bands don’t stop at their low price. They are remarkably easy to learn to use and allow you to create a remarkable range of exercises using a single piece of equipment. They can be attached to stationary objects like doorknobs or simply pulled using arms and legs. They are very inexpensive and don’t require electricity. Like hand weights, they can be incorporated into other forms of exercise to increase resistance.
The current generation is probably the first in hundreds of years not to use jump ropes widely as children. They remain a staple in gyms and for simple, inexpensive use anywhere.
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, has become very popular in recent years. It is a form of exercise that requires very little time per day (research is showing that a workout of as little as 7 minutes can make a difference) and yields amazing results for many people. It is a high cardio workout that I would not recommend for those requiring calm forms of exercise and for anyone with physical limitations. Therefore, it would work best for blood type 0s and some Bs and is not recommended for As and ABs.
If you would like to look into HIIT, here are some top apps for 2019:
Here is a 26-minute video that include many sample HIIT moves:
I have spoken about how helpful it is to have a mini-trampoline or rebounder. This piece of equipment is definitely worth the initial investment and will fit almost anywhere – and most models store easily. I especially like my mini trampoline because it allows me to jog and jump with minimal stress on my joints, and it is a great way to keep my lymphatic system working well and my circulation pumping.
This virtual workout system requires both equipment and electrical power to run. However, it is something that can involve multiple players if you have enough space. The equipment itself takes up minimal space, however, so can be ready to go at any time. I remember first seeing Wii more than a decade ago and thinking it was just for fun. But the more, I watched (and participated), the more I realized it could support a serious workout if done properly.
Here is an article that rates the fitness and fun levels of several popular Wii exercise videos:
Got space? Well, then, consider setting up a home gym in your basement, spare room, or other available space. This solution is best left to those who already know which types of exercise and equipment work well for them (I know that we had an elliptical trainer for a while that eventually became a coat rack before we sold it). Nevertheless, it can be a great solution for one or more family members who enjoy solo workouts and have the discipline to use and maintain the machines as they are designed to be used. With the cost of gym memberships and personal trainers running in the hundreds of dollars per person per year, this potentially sizable investment can still be a cost saver in the long run.
Gym equipment and accessories may require power, so be sure to consider outlet placement (and how you would work out if the lights go out) when you are designing your space and adding machines or stations.
MIRROR FITNESS SYSTEM
This new entrant into the home fitness category is both a significant investment and requires power. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering if you are determined to reach peak performance at home and have a reliable generator.
Go here for more information:
I’m sure that there are more options that I haven’t thought to mention, but you get the idea. Also, it’s important to consider which kinds of exercises are most helpful for your blood type. For more information, you check out a couple of prior blog posts:
At Wellness Made Simple, we are committed to encouraging you to get moving so that you can stay healthy. If you have questions about any of these home workout suggestions, let’s connect.
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