With the ushering in of winter and the New Year, it’s hard for many Minnesotans to find ways to stay active. This is only magnified during a pandemic when most of us are confined to our homes. Additionally, weather is unpredictable and our daily sunlight is limited.
With all of these factors in play, it’s easy to neglect exercise even though the mental and physical consequences can be drastic. Fear not. Here are some ways to stay active under these challenging circumstances.
Start by doing something small. This could simply be a short walk around the neighborhood. Bundle up and watch for ice, but enjoy the gifts around you and take the time to reflect on your health and blessings.
Focus on areas where you have tension in your life and breathe through them. Go a little further the next day. Keep up this routine every single day. After a couple weeks, think about adding a short jog to your daily routine. It can start as one block of your walk or further if you can. The important part is that you make this daily routine a habit. Even if the weather is cold or snowy, bundle up and trek on. Or if you’re comfortable going to the deserted shopping centers, take laps around the mall.
Indoor and Outdoor Activities
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut either binging Netflix or browsing social media sites for hours on end. Yet, there are still plenty of physical activities to do outside and inside. As temperatures keep dropping and the lakes/ponds start freezing, buy a pair of ice skates and hit the ponds. I guarantee that after 30 minutes of ice-skating, you will feel muscles you didn’t even know you had! Or learn how to ski/snowboard, go sledding, or build a snow fort. All of these activities will make you sweat and your muscles will feel it!
If you don’t want to go outside, find a spot in your bedroom or living room and try a 5-minute GPP (general physical preparedness) workout. To accomplish this, pick four exercises that you can do in place (i.e. jumping jacks, pushups, squats, mountain climbers). Do one exercise repeatedly for 20-30 seconds. When the time is up, move onto the next exercise. Repeat until all four exercises are complete. Rest for 60 seconds and then proceed with another round. Try repeating this circuit four times. If this is too easy, add rounds. If four is too many, target three rounds. This will get you sweating and your heart racing. Plus, there’s no equipment needed.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, check out some online, home workouts that you can do without any equipment. Because of Covid, there are more online workout videos than ever before. These workouts include yoga, muscle toning fitness routines, and dance. Be sure to clear your living room before you high kick your lamp!
It’s imperative for your health, that you remain active during these difficult winter months. If nothing on this list sounds enticing for you, try something new and get creative. Happy exercising!