Winter Workout Trends
- Friday, 16 December 2011
When we think of winter, we think of gingerbread-flavored drinks, cinnamon-scented candles and plushy blankets on the couch. Our activities of choice might be watching a romantic comedy by the fireplace, or meeting a close friend for some soup in a bread bowl. The LAST thing that sounds attractive is going out into the cold and trying to break a sweat while getting in a good workout.
Looking back through history, human behavior suggests that winter is a time of rest--a time when families would hunker down indoors and live off of the food and supplies that they had cultivated throughout the spring and summer months. Thanks in part to our ancestral past, it is perfectly normal for us to feel more inclined to stay inside at this time of the year, but that does not mean that we have to sink into hibernation mode. Remember that there are numerous ways of working out this season that will keep you feeling proud of your bodies.
Here are some of the best workouts to rev up that winter body. Once you get moving, you are not going to want to stop!
Although this workout has made our laziest workout list, this 90-minute yoga class is extremely mentally and physically challenging. Hot Yoga makes the list because the room is heated to around 105 degrees, so sweating will be easily accomplished even on the chilliest of days. A toasty warm room is like comfort food for the soul on a cold day, and your body will be stretched and strengthened to new levels. This yoga sequence is designed to give your mind and body more energy, so go for the warm environment, and keep going to have that yogic energy all winter long.
This is all about the fusion! Find a studio near you that offers some sort of power or cardio Pilates. Look for classes that offer Pilates, weight training and cardio. These 45-50 minute classes are created to give you a toned, chiseled physique in a short amount of time. Results are felt and seen after just a few classes. You will push your body to reach new limits while sweating to the beat of great music, in less time than it takes to watch an episode of The Biggest Loser.
Get your outdoor cardio fix, but leave your running shoes at home. Bringing moon-shoes to the next fitness level, Kangoo Jumps are the newest creation in low impact, rebound sport shoes. Simply replace your old running shoes and go for a jog in these ‘springed’ boots for an entirely new running experience. Not into working out solo? Surf the web and look for group classes held in your area. Kangoo Jumps are even more fun when hopping to the beat of the music with a group of people!
Avoiding the treadmill at home is easy if you are feeling too lazy to work out. However, most make the common mistake of just straight jogging for 20-30 minutes. Spice up your boring old routine, and experience the new trend that is popping up on many gym schedules. Try a treadmill workout, an interval training routine that includes running for short periods, walking to bring the heart rate back down, jogging, side-stepping, and more, all while adjusting your speed higher and lower, and increasing and decreasing the incline. Some classes have you doing the above while wearing a weight vest or holding low weights. You will be trying to figure out what comes next, rather than watching the clock. There are plenty of online blogs, websites, and DVDs available for those with treadmills at home and who cannot bear to leave the house on those chilly days.
A wintertime tradition for many is watching a performance of The Nutcracker ballet. If you feel inspired to dance to the beat of your own holiday rhythm, try a Zumba class! This Latin-inspired dance class is far from the formal training endured by the Sugar-Plum Fairies—but it still makes our list for a great workout! So, why does this workout make our lazy list? Because all you do is dance! Follow your instructor as she leads you through strategically synchronized dance moves to tone your arms, burn your belly fat, and increase your endurance. Zumba classes are offered at most gyms, but if you want to get extra lazy, buy the Zumba DVD and dance in the mirror at home!
Walk the mall
My father turned me on to the ‘mall workout’ when temperatures got high in the summer, but this time of year brings the holiday magic! Most malls open their doors an hour or two before the shops open, and some mall maps show how many miles the perimeter of the mall is. For example, the Westfield Shopping Center in Santa Anita, CA is 1-½ miles around the perimeter. My dad walks the perimeter downstairs, then again upstairs, for a nice temperature-controlled 3 mile walk, all while enjoying the holiday scenery and storefronts. Work out your glutes by walking up and down the stairs a few times (no cheating on the escalator!). If you are feeling too festive for the gym, go walk the mall—where the snow is made of tinsel and the ‘North Pole’ is never below 70 degrees.
Hopefully one of these winter workouts will appeal to even the laziest of cold weather workout-phobics. Remember, underneath all those bulky layers at the annual ‘ugly sweater’ party, you will still be able to sense your strong, toned body and how good that feels. Along with colder temperatures come winter colds and the flu. Keeping up with your fitness is important, as it helps to keep your immune system healthy and capable of fighting off unwanted germs.
During the winter season, we all feel more inclined to stay inside where it is warm, but we can stay cozy and fit at the same time. Best wishes to you of a winter season full of holiday cheer and fitness success!
Written By Katrina Goldberg, Rockit Body Pilates