3 Alternative Winter Workouts


Because the cold months are here, it’s understandable that we’ve lost all motivation to work out. The holiday cookies are on the table just waiting to be eaten, and the fire is on and waiting for you to curl up next to it and watch holiday movies. But the gym – it’s not calling your name by any means. It’s more challenging to get out of the house and to the gym when it’s cold out.


This doesn’t mean you should put your active lifestyle on halt.  According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from Health.gov, some physical activity is better than none. Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. The National Institute of Health said that a new study suggests Americans probably gain about a pound during the winter holiday season, but this extra weight accumulates through the years and may be a major contributor to obesity later in life.

It’s no news that we need to continue to work out to prevent obesity, or even obesity related diseases. Deborah Quilter, director of yoga at the Martha Stewart Center for Living at St. Sinai Hospital in New York City, says that winter fitness also prevents the aches and pains that arise from sedentary behavior.

“To be most effective, fitness needs to be consistent,” says Quilter. “Staying active in the winter boosts immunity by keeping the lymphatic system active — as long as you don’t overtrain, which has the opposite effect.”


Spring Cleaning

Julie Davis, author of more than 50 health and fitness related books, recommends an early start to spring cleaning.

“When the warm weather returns, you’ll want to be back outside, not cleaning the house,” says Davis.

A 150 lb. person would burn 198 doing an hour of housework, according to healthstatus.com.

Winter Sports:

Shoveling snow, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or even building a snowman each get your body moving.

“If it’s nice out, even walking in the snow is great cardio because it takes more effort than walking on a clear sidewalk or track,” says Quilter.

A 150 lb. person would burn 414 calories an hour shoveling snow, 468 calories an hour sledding, and 594 calories an hour skiing, according to healthstatus.com.


Blogilates.com, a website that features short workout videos, recipes, and fitness tips is another alternative to leaving your home. Cassey Ho, Pilates and group exercise instructor, YouTube fitness guru, and the creator of POP Pilates, created the website in 2009.

“If you’re doing my workouts and are trying to lose weight and tone up, I suggest doing Pilates at least 3x a week an hour at a time,” says Ho.

Ho recommends “popsters” to pair her videos with a quick 10 minute cardio blast after each session. You can participate in the online workout community at www.blogilates.com.

A 150 lb. person will burn 351 calories an hour doing intermediate pilates.

You can start an exercise routine and become fitter and healthier at any time of the year no matter how new you are to fitness.

The National Women’s Health Resource Center said that fitness consists of four components: your body’s ability to use oxygen as a source of energy, which translates into cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

When you decide on an exercise program, make sure to incorporate aerobic exercise, weight lifting or strength training, and flexibility exercises or stretching.

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