By now the gym is a little less crowded than it was this time last month. Most of those New Year’s resolutions have been broken and a few people are even sinking into the winter blues. You on the other hand are equipped to to stay on track and in shape.
The Winter 2011 American College of Sports Medicine Fit Society Pages reiterate what we all have heard so many times, “Exercise provides an effective natural boost to both mood and health.” Exercise, mood and your overall fitness level provide you with a win-win-win situation. Exercising releases feel good hormones to keep your spirits lifted and your energy high. It is also increases your metabolism, thus increasing the amount of calories burned during and after a workout, helping you manage your weight, get stronger and stay healthier.
While you may not be a winter warrior willing to brave icy streets and sub-zero wind chills for a good workout, there are plenty of options to keep you on track and in shape.
- Break up workouts
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise each day, but instead of doing it all at once break it up into 10 minutes bouts performed 3 times in the day. Do your first 10 minutes when you wake up in the morning to jump start your day. Peform your next 10 minutes of exercise after lunch to prevent the mid-afternoon lag and keep you sharp for the second half of your work day. Finish your last 10 minutes of exercise between the time you get out of work and have dinner.
- Jump rope
- Climb stairs (at home or in the office)
- Lunge up and down a long hallway
- Shadow box
- Dance vigorously to your favorite songs
Elevating your heart rate is key to a good workout. You can burn just as many calories performing effective resistance training activities as you can burn performing cardiovascular activities like walking or biking. Consider alternating resistance training workouts with cardiovascular workouts every other day. This will prevent your body from adapting to your workouts as quickly, which prevents you from reaching the dreaded plateau. Varying your activities will also help you stay engaged and keep you from getting bored.
Using guides such as your favorite celebrity’s butt blasting exercises or participating in the latest fitness craze in the comfort of your own home is a good way to ensure that you are getting an effective workout. It takes the guessing out of what to do next since each exercise, set and repetition are provided to you in an easy to follow format. All you have to do is pay attention and move with it.
Finding a workout buddy is one of the best strategies to keep you on track. Your buddy will hold you accountable for showing up to your workouts and will motivate you on the days when you are feeling down.
The only way to stay on track and in shape is to make time. You might be the busiest parent on earth, juggling a job, the kids, your spouse and running an almost perfect house with a white picket fence and the friendliest family pet, but remember that you cannot be the best person to care for everyone and everything depending on you if you do not even take care of yourself. Bottom line…make the time…
- Block time in your calendar just like you would for a business meeting or doctor’s appointment.
- Multi task. If you the only time you have to workout is during the 30 minutes you take to watch the news, then perform some kind of cardiovascular activity during the broadcast (jump rope, jumping jacks, marching in place etc) and perform resistance excercises during the commercials (push ups, squats, lunges etc).