Afraid all your hard earned physical fitness gains from this summer will be lost? You can still stay fit and lose weight while staying warm and cozy indoors. Here are a few fun ways to keep that exercise routine going this winter.
Continuing your weight-loss program indoors option #1:
My favorite way to exercise indoors, is dancing. All you need is good music and some space. If you don’t have a lot of room, move some furniture to the side (you’ll be using your muscles for that too!) and give yourself as much space as you can. Its best to do when you don’t have an audience, that way you won’t worry about how silly you look! Have a good time with it. Just get moving around! One of the world’s leading authorities on music and exercise, Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., says that “Music is like a legal drug for athletes. It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.” After becoming involved in numerous research studies on the effect of music on exercise intensity, Carl Foster Ph.D. states, “All things being equal, I think the stronger and more obvious the beat is, the more likely you will be able to follow it.” Dig through your collection and find some fun and crazy music to dance to!
Continuing your weight-loss program indoors option #2:
If you have a flight of stairs, or even a few steps in your home, they make for a perfect calorie burning activity. If you don’t have any stairs, a sturdy foot stool can work just as well. I’ve used this many times and it makes for some intense exercise. Stair climbing alone can burn as much as 500 calories an hour! Stair climbing puts less pressure on the joints than running or jogging on concrete would. Be sure to warm up doing quadriceps and calf stretches, and then start off at an easy pace. While climbing, you should lean forward slightly from the hips with the back straight. You should never be rounded in the lower back area. Don’t forget to do a cool down by walking around the house then stretching your hamstrings, calf and quadriceps.
Continuing your weight-loss program indoors option #3:
Adding muscle-building to your work out will speed up your metabolism and is a must for losing fat and gaining muscle! If you don’t want to lift bar-bells, there are still a lot of options for you. Soup cans and gallon milk jugs make excellent weights. Walk around the house lifting one arm and then the next. Use a door way for pull ups. Use a chair for exercising the back of your arms by leaning slightly forward in the chair, keeping your back and shoulders straight. Grasp the arms of the chair, keeping your hands level with the trunk of your body or slightly farther forward. Tuck your feet slightly under the chair with your heels off the ground, and your weight on your toes and balls of your feet. Slowly push your body off of the chair using only your arms. Slowly lower back to starting position. You can also do push ups, sit ups and leg raises while your watching your favorite television program. Invest in an exercise DVD, Kathy Smith’s Yoga series is excellent.
Whatever you do, don’t stop exercising, continue your exercise habit year round for weight loss, and weight maintenance. You’ll have more energy, a better outlook on life, and you won’t have to worry about quickly getting into shape next summer!