Photo Credit: Rawan Yasser
Winter is almost here, and with it will come all sorts of new health considerations. You’ll need to deal with the cold, try to avoid getting sick, make sure you’re getting some Vitamin D with less time in the sun, and perhaps above all else, try to keep that excess weight off! It’s extremely easy to gain unwanted weight during the winter, in part because we tend to be indulging a bit more with our diets, but also because it’s harder to exercise consistently. When it’s too cold to be comfortable stepping out without a jacket, it’s more difficult to motivate yourself for a long walk or a jog, or in some cases even to head out to the gym.
Ideally, you’ll find ways to keep exercising the same way you usually do. But it doesn’t hurt to have a few simple, indoor exercises in your back pocket so you can simply do them in the warmth and comfort of your home. And we have a few suggestions that might help you to build up a winter routine.
The humble push-up remains one of the best exercises to do in the house by yourself, and with no equipment. It’s a standard favorite for a reason - or several, rather, as it works muscled in the chest, arms, and core and can even get your heart rate up if done in certain ways. It’s also a great exercise with which to track your progress, because you can usually advance fairly quickly in terms of how many you can manage in a set, how many sets you can do, etc. And most importantly for this specific conversation, you can always squeeze in a few push-ups. You can even be watching a holiday movie or working from home and simply get down for a quick 25-push-up burst!
Leg raises are easy enough to do on your own at home that they were even recommended by one article last year as an exercise to do while playing video games!. It’s a fair point, given that you can lay on your side doing leg raises and keeping your eye on a screen if you’d like to simply work your muscles and burn a few calories during a TV show or movie as well. As for the exercise itself, leg raises are a perfect counterpart to push-ups. While the latter targets your upper body and core, leg raises are - as the aforementioned article put it - a great way to target your quadriceps and abs.
Here we’re back to core exercise, but you can never have too much of it. Many people swear by planks as perhaps the best ways to built core strength in fact, and as with push-ups it’s fairly easy to track your progress. Above all else, a plank might be the single easiest form of exercise on this list to fit into your day-to-day live around the house. While it’s obviously more difficult than this, it’s effectively the same as simply lying down on the floor for a few minutes at a time. Who doesn’t have space and a few moments for that?
Many think of downward-facing dog as a sort of in-between yoga pose. The reality, however, is that it works on a huge range of body parts, including your arms, back, butt and hips, your calves, and more - not to mention core strength and balance. If you’re not used to the position or you’re not particularly flexible you might be shocked at how much of a strain the position is and how difficult it is to hold for 30 seconds, a minute, or whatever you start with. You’ll quickly improve however, and discover that this simple, still position can make a real difference in your fitness routine.
If you’re looking for something a little more rigorous with at least a light cardio component, opt for squat jumps. These exercises can get your heart rate up in a hurry, and they only require as much space as it takes for you to take a shoulder-width stance and jump up and down. In addition to getting your blood pumping, squat jumps are also the best exercise listed her for a full range of leg muscles, meaning it can help balance a workout with all of the upper body and core components mentioned above.