With the onset of cold weather, snow, and slush easily squelch the desire and sometimes the ability to be mobile. In some areas winter is the longest season of the year. The decreased mobility is not good for your muscles and joints. Help maintain them this winter by creating a plan for getting exercise.
The benefits of exercise go beyond the traditional goal of weight loss (put that out of your mind). Increased activity promotes energy, lessens stiffness, increases lung capacity, stimulates the mind, and usually improves the mood. I'm sure you can think of some others. The great thing about these benefits is that you can enjoy them no matter what size you are.
One of the best ways to get exercise without leaving your home is to bring items like a reclining bike, treadmill, or exercise videos into your home. Investing in a good piece of exercise equipment is a worthwhile investment. But if you don't like to bike on a good day, don't get an exercise bike otherwise it will become an expensive clothing hanger in the corner. Research the equipment you buy beforehand (maximum weight, warranties, reviews etc.) The same holds true for exercise videos (not every video is for every body). Everyone should have at least three exercise videos they like to move to so they can change them up when they get bored.
Even though the weather outside may be frightful that is no excuse for not venturing out even for fifteen minutes. If you are worried about ice or falling, invest in a walking stick for support. It is a amazing how much security a little stick can provide. You can get some really snazzy ones or plain Jane. I bought mine from a roadside vendor who hand carved them out of driftwood. If you're crafty you can decorate one yourself. Another option is Polar Cleats, they slip over your boots to grip the ice.
Most malls these days are open early to allow for walking groups. You can give them a call to find out times or if there is a contact person. Or you can show up any time and walk by yourself. The only rule is, no shopping! At least not until you get your thirty minutes of walking in.
The local YMCA offers an affordable (when compared to regular health clubs) option to using treadmills, pools, weights, and attending exercise classes. They also tend to have people of all shapes and sizes all year round. Call them up and go for a tour. In most places you don't have to have a membership to use the facilities, some times you can purchase pool time or class time to help add variety to your winter exercise.
Start now before the weather gets bad by making a list of all the activities you want to do or try this winter to stay active. Make your plan to stay active this winter but make sure it is flexible. Remember activity is supposed to be fun. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day because we all know if something becomes a chore it stops being fun and is easily but on the back burner. Keep it light and keep it fun. Have a great winter!
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