How to Make the Most of Exercising at HomePosted: January 5, 2012
I, Joan O’Keefe, hereby admit that I HATE to be cold. However, I’ll be the first to tell you that the weather is NO excuse for not exercising.
I’ve said it before – exercise is vital. You must do something every day. Of course, exercise will help you lose weight, but the benefits of exercise are more than just the calories burned during your workout. Exercise makes you calmer, lowers stress hormones, it blows out the cobwebs, letting you think more clearly and making you a nicer person – Just ask my husband. There are times when he will get this look on his face and say as kindly as can be, “Joan, maybe you need to go exercise.” I am crabby, grumpy and generally unpleasant to be around if I haven’t exercised. He can tell if I need to lower my stress hormones!
Exercise also improves sleep and builds muscle. Building muscle is huge. If you are not exercising and using your muscles, you lose muscle and if you lose it, you’ll have to eat less because you’re not burning calories. Exercise increases your metabolism for the next 24 hours and you’ll burn more calories all day.
So, what’s a girl who hates the cold to do all winter long? Move the workout indoors. You always have a choice. Say you have four kids and you’re stuck indoors in an ice storm with no chance of making it to a gym. What do you do? Run your stairs! Do it for 30 minutes. I’m not talking taking laundry up a couple of times, I want you to put on your sneakers, start in the basement if you have one, and head to the top floor. Go downstairs and repeat – for 30 minutes straight. You’ll know you’ve done something after this.
I also suggest trying new classes. Winter is the perfect time for this. Many gyms run the best promotions of the year in January. Get in there and try a new class – you’re guaranteed to be with other beginners this time of year. Try yoga, pilates, even spinning. Just be sure to shake it up. Do something Tuesday/Thursday and something different the other days. Make it fun. Join an indoor pool. Let the kids play and then swim some laps yourself.
Now, if you don’t mind the cold, options are abound for you. My husband, a North Dakota native, loves the cold. He finds early morning frigid temperatures exhilarating. So, if you’re like James and the cold doesn’t bother you, bundle up, get out there and skate, run or walk, or better yet, try interval training. Walk a block, run two, etc.
Please take my advice and don’t let old man winter keep you from exercising and being the best you can be!
In Good Health,
Joan O’Keefe, RD
For additional information on health supplements, see cardiotabs.com.