Cold weather means winter jackets, hats, gloves, scarves and layers. When you combine the freezing temperatures and the burden of layering up, it’s easy to talk yourself out of trekking to the gym. I know I've fallen victim to this excuse.
But plummeting temperatures needn't stop you from exercising! All you have to do is be a little creative. Today I’m sharing my at-home work out routine to help kick start the New Year and your physical wellbeing.
Let’s get started!
It’s good to begin any workout by building up your heart rate as well as getting your muscles warm and moving in correct form. Warming your muscles and putting them through functional movements will prepare your body for the intensity of the workout and decrease your chance of injury during and after exercise.
To start, choose 4 of the moves below and repeat twice:
Jump rope: with or without the rope. X 30-40 seconds.
Hopping back and forth: Use both feet or just one leg and 'hop' over a set line, whether a crack in the floor, ruler, string, etc. X 30-40 seconds.
Ice Skaters: this movement is just like ice skating in place, get low, jump from side to side, keep a fast pace. X 30 reps.
Quadruped: kneel down on hands and knees, then alternate and lift your opposite arm & leg. X 20 reps.
4 Way Lunge: front, diagonal, side & back. X 4 sets for each leg.
Step up on your stairs: quicken the pace. X 30-40 seconds.
Floor (Glute) Bridges: lying on your back, knees bent, heels close to your butt, you are going to drive your hips towards the ceiling. Lower your hips back down and repeat. X 12 reps.
Running in place with high knees: X 30-40 seconds.
Now that you are warmed up, let’s move on to your weight/strength training exercises. Most of these exercises are functional movements; by this I mean they mimic real-life motions. These moves are key to increase your balance and muscle control, which in turn will help you in your daily tasks. They will also decrease your chances of an injury during and after your workout.
Remember form is key, quality over quantity! This is your workout, so mix it up with the exercises and afterwards you will have accomplished a whole body workout.
Squats: keep your weight even through your whole foot, sit back and don’t let your knees come forward over your toes. You can mix it up by doing a single leg squat. X 10-12 reps.
Lunges: forward, to the side and back or split. X 10-12 reps.
Push Ups: regular, on your knees, de-cline (feet up on a chair or table), or incline (hands up on a chair, table or wall). X 10-12 reps.
Wall Sits: make sure your back is flat against the wall, knees at 90 degrees. To add weight you can do bicep curls in conjunction. X 30-40 seconds.
Calf Raises: on the floor or for more range of motion stand on the edge of a step or stool. X 10-12 reps.
Triceps Bench Dips: you will need to use a chair/table/step; just make sure it is steady. To add some difficulty to the exercise, put your legs up on something as well. X 10-12 reps.
Box Jumps: you can step back down or hop down, be explosive. X 10-12 reps.
Planks: right side, left side and center. X 30-40 seconds.
Step Ups: drive knee up, alternate legs each time, keep your chest up and back straight. You can add weight by holding free weights in your hands. X 10-12 reps.
Great job staying fit indoors! Now, jump into an Epson salt bath to recover your muscles and help you relax. Don’t let the cold weather get the best of you. Keep up with your exercise routines even on the coldest days.
image via Flickr user Steve Parkinson
Molly has her Bachelors degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Health Fitness. She is a certified personal trainer along with being an athlete all her life from college swimming to now marathon running and all other physical activities in between.