The winter months provide some with an excellent opportunity to sit on the couch and pack the pounds on. If you don't have a gym membership or lead an active lifestyle, chances are you're susceptible to winter weight gain. This is usually in direct correlation to a lack of exercise. As humans, it's important to stay active through all four seasons. Yet, a poll of 5,000 people found that 30 percent get no exercise all during the winter months. That it may be cold outside doesn't provide an automatic excuse not to exercise. There are multiple exercise options one can choose to participate in
regardless of what the thermometer reads. Depending on your location and likes, you can choose to workout inside or outside.
Spice Up Your Cardio
When doing cardio, your only concern is getting your heart rate into your target heart-rate zone. As long as you accomplish that, you can do whatever you want. So why get on the treadmill and walk at the same boring pace for 45 minutes when you could add variety and intensity and get your workout done in less time? Try some of these ideas to make your workouts more fun:
Break up your workout. Separate your workout into five-minute segments, each with a different focus (e.g., speed, incline, resistance, steady state, etc.). By changing your workout every five minutes, you get variety and — because you're focusing on five minutes at a time — the workout will fly by.
Make a cardio medley. Instead of getting on the same machine every time, pick 3 different machines and workout on each one for 10-or-so minutes.
Be creative. Look around the gym and see if there are other ways to get in your cardio. Look for a flight of stairs to run up and down or a space where you could jump rope. Walk on the treadmill, then go
outside and run around the building for five minutes. Look for different things you can do to break up your usual routine and add excitement.
Be a homebody. If you're a home exerciser, you may feel it’s even harder for you to get in a good workout because you may not have access to all the machines available at a gym. However, you have even more flexibility in your home. You can use videos, go outside or just make up your own workout right in your own living room. Music is one way to motivate yourself, so put on your favorite CD and workout to it. The good news is, it doesn't have to be structured. Simply choose some basic cardio exercises, such as jumping jacks, jogging in place, front kicks, side shuffles, jump rope, etc., and do each one for a minute or so. Even if it’s for 10 minutes, that's 10 minutes you're not sitting around watching TV.
MARK MILLER FITNESS
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