Take Heart—Even in This Weather!

For most of us, this winter’s been pretty brutal. Lots of snow and frigid temperatures that can make it tempting to just curl up in a cozy blanket and veg out on the couch. But even if the weather outside is frightful, you can still find ways to work out and get your heart pumping! Here’s how to help your heart stay strong, even when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Make adjustments to your fitness routine. If your 30-minute power walk won’t do in subzero temps, divide it up into several five-minute bursts—even if you end up just walking around the house. A few other ideas: Take the stairs, walk around the office before you eat lunch, or try a few of my deskercises! It doesn’t matter when or how you squeeze in your workouts, as long as you get them done!

Get creative with your indoor workouts. Stuck inside during a snowstorm? That doesn’t mean your workout has to be boring! Think about investing a few low-cost pieces of equipment for your home like a jump rope, set of dumbbells, and a stability ball. These are all great fitness tools that will help you strengthen your muscles! Another idea is to keep a few fitness DVDs on hand like my latest, Blast Fat Fast Latin Dance, it’s a 30-minute workout consisting of four mini-routines designed to torch calories, define your waist and sculpt lean, sexy muscles! Still stumped? Try a few new exercises from my website, or just blast your favorite music and have a dance party.

Find ways to have fun in the snow. If you can’t escape the cold, why not have fun in it? Try out snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, or take a few runs down that sledding hill. (Dragging your sled back up the hill is a great workout for your heart!) And while it may not be that fun, shoveling snow can be a great cardio workout—just be sure to warm up before you get started to avoid an aching back and muscles.

Make sure you’re moving enough! When the temperatures drop, it can keep you cooped up indoors—which can make staying active more challenging. Invest in a pedometer to help keep tabs of the number of steps you take each day. Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day—even if that means just wandering through the rooms in your home, or hitting the mall for a few laps.

Build some muscle. Cardio workouts like running and biking aren’t the only way to strengthen your heart. New studies show that strength training—whether with free weights or resistance bands — can help increase blood flow and decrease your blood pressure. So make sure you mix in some strength training to give your heart a good workout, and tone your body at the same time.

Get a jump start on your spring cleaning. Vacuuming, washing windows and mopping floors can be just as good a cardio workout as more conventional exercises—so go ahead and get scrubbing! Cleaning burns more calories than you’d think – depending on the type of task, you could burn up to 400 calories an hour!

Keep your eyes on the prize! It may be parka weather now, but in just a few short months, we’ll be back into shorts and swimsuits. Consider posting a picture that represents your goal—or displaying that bikini you want to wear—to inspire you to stay active. And keep working hard to ensure you look your best when it’s time to peel off those layers!

Written for Rite Aid by DeniseAustin.com

Posted in Wellness Resources