Staying Fit in Winter

Staying fit during Winter months can be a challenge.  However, your fitness is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your health, longevity and overall mood. Exercise has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression, boost your immune system and can even help curb an excessive appetite. Weight training and yoga are great for your body, but you need to include cardiovascular workouts into your exercise routine to keep your heart healthy.

There are several different activities you can choose from to raise your heart rate sufficiently. Below are the ten best exercises you can engage in.

Walking:

Walking in a mall is a great way to stay fit and warm.  Average calories burned: 360/hour when walking at 4.25 miles per hour.  Walking a half an hour a day is probably the healthiest activity you can choose.

Walking is an awesome way for people to begin their journey into cardiovascular fitness. Some say it’s the best thing you can do. When the weather outside is okay, it can be extremely enjoyable to put on your headphones and take a stroll through your neighborhood. Listen to podcasts and books on tape and the time will fly.

For many beginners, walking at a rate of about 3.0 miles per hour is a good starting point. You can eventually work your way up to at least 4.0 miles per hour or spend a good portion of your walk going up hills, you can get your heart rate up sufficiently.

On days that the weather is not cooperative, you can do your walking on a treadmill. While the scenery is not as interesting, a treadmill will lower the impact on your joints as you step and will allow you to monitor your rate of speed.  Exploring the different malls and making sure you walk as much as possible before or after shopping.  It is possible to just look.

Step Aerobics:

Average calories burned: 375/hour at a leisurely pace, or 600/hour with a high-intensity session

Step aerobics was very popular in the 80’s and 90’s with Jane Fonda and other celebs promoting aerobics but has since tapered off a bit. However, this is one of the best ways for newbies to transition from couch blobs to fitness stars in the privacy of the home. You can use a step aerobics video to get the hang of the different steps and can then improvise your own workout while watching TV. Using a stepper is a quiet activity that requires very little room in your home.

If you spend just a half-hour a day slowly stepping while watching your favorite sitcom, you could burn an extra 1,300 calories a week and lose two pounds a month. Doing this activity faster, more intensely or for longer periods of time will have an even greater impact.

Elliptical Trainers:

Average calories burned: 425/hour when moving at a slow, comfortable pace or 600/hour at a brisk pace

Elliptical trainers are a great choice for beginners, as you can start off slow and work your way up to expert fitness levels all on the same machine. Elliptical trainers are some of the most popular cardio-fitness machines at the gym with good reason. These machines work both your upper and lower body while providing a low-impact workout. You can vary your workout by going forward or backward on them. Most people find these machines intuitive to use and easy to stay on for long periods of time.

Stairs:  Average is around 12 calories a minute

Whether you use a stair machine or just walk up and down the stairs of your office or condo is an awesome way to mix things up and turn it up a notch.

Being healthy will save moiney on health insurance, life insurance, improve your moiod and just make life much fuller and more fun.