It can be difficult to work up the motivation to exercise during the winter months. The month of December is perhaps the toughest time to get active - not only is the weather usually miserable, but most people are also busy preparing for the holidays. With greeting cards to be sent out, presents to buy, and parties to attend, how can you find time to work out?
Work Out at Home
Working out at home saves time and is the perfect solution when the weather is bad and you don't feel like going out. It requires relatively little equipment. For example, inflatable exercise balls are inexpensive and can be used for a number of exercises. You can even use one as a desk chair to improve your posture while you work. Alternatively, you can use everyday home furniture to support your exercises: a staircase makes a perfect stepper, or you can rest your hands on a chair behind you to work your legs with supported squats.
Hit the Yoga Studio
If you are in need of a bit of winter warmth, why not try Bikram yoga? A Bikram yoga studio is heated to a balmy 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which relaxes the muscles so that they can stretch more easily, reducing the risk of injuries. If you are looking for a way to increase flexibility and work up a good sweat in winter, Bikram yoga could be the perfect winter workout for you.
Warm Up Carefully
During winter, it's more important than ever to warm up thoroughly before exercising. Busy December schedules often lead people to skimp on the warm up and cool down parts of their workout, but rushing these essential routines can lead to injuries or muscle strain. Start with vigorous arm circles and careful jogging to get your blood circulating, then gently ease into static stretches before moving onto the rest of your workout.
After Your Workout
Wind down your workout gradually to avoid causing a shock to your system. Repeat your warm up stretches to keep your muscles supple and flexible. When you get home from the gym, you need to supply your body with protein to repair damage to your muscle cells caused by working out. A post-workout protein shake is a quick and convenient way to give your body the protein it needs.
Benefits of Winter Exercise
Exercise boosts energy levels, which makes it the perfect antidote to December sluggishness. Physical activity gets your blood circulating, kickstarts your metabolism, and stimulates your immune system into action. Exercise also boosts your mood by releasing endorphins, so if you are feeling the winter blues, try pulling on your running shoes and hitting the streets or the treadmill if you want to avoid the cold!