Don't let winter sidetrack your exercise routine
Now that winter has arrived, you may find it difficult to stay active and stick to your outdoor exercise routine. But, you don’t have to ditch your fitness habits or join a gym just because the weather has turned colder and the days have become darker.
Kim Beyer, Columbia St. Mary’s Women’s Heart Secrets Exercise Specialist, offers several suggestions to stay fit and active this winter:
- Pop in a DVD. There are exercise DVDs to fit every taste — from step aerobics to Salsa dancing to weight lifting. DVDs are great in helping to ensure you’re covering all of your exercise bases. Check out the selection at your local library.
- Clean the house. When doing household chores like vacuuming, washing windows or even decorating, pick up the pace or increase the intensity to get the most out of the chores you are already doing.
- Invite a friend. Just like you make dinner dates and schedule book club meetings, invite a friend or neighbor over to exercise. Working out with someone else can keep you motivated and make exercising more fun.
- Try a gadget. A pedometer is a great tool to track just how much walking you do each day. Set a goal – 10,000 steps per day is considered active – and have fun reaching it. Most shopping malls welcome walkers.
- Move to the music: Dancing is a wonderful exercise and is great for your heart. It can also lift your spirits and improve your mood.
- Use your imagination. Books or canned foods double as weights for strength training, while a chair or edge of the bathtub is great for tricep dips.
- Act like a kid. Shadow box, pick up a hula hoop or jump rope. All of these activities get you moving and can help reduce stress.
As with any exercise program, check with your healthcare provider before you start. Also, listen to your body: exercise should be challenging, but not painful.
If you have any questions or would like more information about exercise, please contact Women’s Heart Secrets at 414-291-1550 or visit www.heartsecrets.org.