Last week we brought you a story with tips on how to keep up your exercise routine during the dreary days of winter. When you can’t get outside, experts suggested squeezing in small workouts at home during TV commercial breaks or using household items like bags of sugar to tone muscles. And our readers had some good tricks for staying motivated. Some of the recommendations included getting a dog (which requires regular walks) and planning workout dates with friends.
Here are more great tips from our readers.• Do what you enjoy. Dr. Mark Wood, an orthopaedic surgeon at Wake Orthopaedics, says to focus on activities you enjoy. If you dread running, he says, you will not be motivated to leave the warm embrace of your thermal blanket when the alarm goes off. He also recommends utilizing a DVD or online workout routine – such as yoga, pilates, P90X, Insanity and FOCUS T25 workouts – if you’re stuck inside.
• Take the stairs: Toni Miller of Raleigh works at Rex Healthcare and burns extra calories after her morning workouts at Rex Wellness Center by always using the stairway when going from the first through seventh floors.
• Hit the snooze - once! If you always need just five more minutes in the morning, Hope Choplin, a fitness specialist with WakeMed Health & Hospitals, suggests saving a few minutes of sleep by laying out your gear before going to bed – or heck, even wear your workout clothes to bed, she says! (Don’t scoff, we’ve all thought about it.) Another tip from Choplin is to do your warm-up (very important during cold winter months) indoors, before venturing outside. And if you can’t get outside to exercise, Choplin says to make up for it during the day by taking a few extra laps around the grocery store while shopping or marching in place while watching TV.
• Safety first. Barbara Latta of Raleigh is an avid exerciser, but knows her limits when the weather’s bad. She reminds us that we shouldn’t attempt exercising outside when conditions are icy – especially in the morning – or when there’s lightning. When she can’t get outside, Latta keeps up her streak of running every day by running up and down the stairs in her home and circling through the living room. If you do get out, Latta suggests dressing warmly (mittens instead of gloves), but in layers. And if it’s dark, wear a headlamp.