Speedo season may have given way for sweaters but just because you’re not baring all at the beach, doesn’t mean you should forego fitness. Time to winter-proof that waistline! Here are 5 winter workouts you should try.
Hit the slopes:
Even if skiing or snowboarding’s not your thing, there are plenty of ways to get outside and get moving. Simply walking through the snow can burn 136-calories an hour for a 150-pound person. Double that, if you’re going uphill! You can also try your hand at cross-country skiing (great for legs and glutes) or even snowshoeing!
Tip: Be sure to dress for the weather (that means layers) and just like in the summer, wear clothing with moisture-wicking properties so you don’t end up soaked in sweat (and freezing!)
This is a great time to warm up those muscles with yoga or Pilates, or even the newest craze of “hot” or Bikram yoga, advised Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step it up with Steph. “These exercises isolate smaller muscles and really make you shake!” said Mansour. There are even specific yoga poses that are meant to “heat up” the body, such as the Sun Salutation, the Fish Pose and the Bow Pose. Follow the sequence here.
The 3 by 10 formula:
An effective but simple winter workout that provides lots of variation to keep it fresh is New Jersey-based gym owner Ronnie Lubischer’s “3 by 10.” Using a treadmill or even your own body (like skipping rope or jumping jacks), you start by jogging for one minute, then running for one minute, then sprinting for one minute to total three minutes of cardio. Then, you pick three exercises for either upper or lower body (for upper body, for example, push ups, dumbbell curls, and dumbbell shoulder press) and do 10 reps of each exercise consecutively.
Repeat this sequence 5-8 times for a quick and intense interval style workout of between 15-30 minutes. These can be done at home, or at the gym.
Tip: YouTube can be a great resource for checking proper form for various exercises or how-to’s.
Squeeze it in:
Alvester Martin, a principal dancer for Hollywood elite such as Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, recommends these simple exercises that you can squeeze into your day, any time, any place!
Push: As soon as you get out of bed, drop to the floor and hit 50 push-ups to get the blood flowing and a burst of energy. Be sure to check for proper form and keep that core tight!
Crunch: Speaking of core, complete at least 200 crunches a day with your knees bent and feet pointed.
Stretch: Taking about 10 minutes before your workout to do a light full body stretch focusing on the body parts that you plan to work on in your session. This is also a good time to do some crunches and get your core engaged and ready to aid you during your workout.
Sweat: Doing cardio after your workout session is a good way to start the muscle recovery process, and prevent your muscles from being fatigued.
Rest: Allowing yourself short rest times between sets and exercises is key to your workout. No more than 10-15 seconds between sets and two minutes between exercises can boost stamina and body efficiency. This will also allow you to get more work done in a shorter time frame.
If the temptation is too great to get into those PJ’s and flop on the couch (as opposed to going to the gym), put down the remote during those commercial breaks and get up and get moving. According to Fitness Magazine, a routine of 15 squats, 15 push-ups, 15 crunches and 15 seconds of an exercise like mountain climbers is enough to make a difference, and requires no equipment – and just a small amount of motivation.
Tip: If you want to up your game, stash some resistance bands under your couch cushions or some dumbbells under the end table. Workout DVD’s that you can pop into your Playstation can also be a great motivational tool.