Moving from Florida to Colorado was a huge change for my family. Getting used to the winter weather here was possibly the biggest adjustment of all.
I found it easy to enjoy the lush green spring, the humidity-free summer, and the colorful fall. I also found it easy to enjoy a jog, a walk with my family, or any outdoor activity during these three seasons. But, the winter… the winter was and still is the most difficult of all. Even the beautiful scenery of the white dustings can’t erase the bone chilling cold or slippery ice.
During the cold winter months, I find myself seeking new and different ideas for physical activity. Not just for myself, but also for my family—my husband, my 19 month old son, and my three dogs. For me, jogging or running in the cold is NOT an option. My lungs just can’t handle it. The thin cold air creates a feeling of fire in my chest. So, most of my activity takes place indoors during this time of year.
My husband has a hobby of scrolling through the “free” section on Craigslist. We have been extremely lucky to find a Bowflex Home Gym and an elliptical for FREE! You, too, can find great deals like this on Craigslist and local Facebook classifieds groups. With the free and cheap exercise equipment we find, we have created our own home gym in our unfinished basement.
No more do I have to brave the negative degree weather or the icy roads to go to the gym. I just walk down my basement stairs with Pandora playing on my iPad, and voila! I’m at my gym for the winter. If the cold, snow, or ice is a barrier for you to get to the gym, I encourage you to start your very own free or cheap home gym!
Ok, ok, I know… it’s not that easy. Luckily, there are many other ways to get a good workout during the cold months. There are several apps you can download on your smartphone that will give you a great workout. I LOVE the Nike+ Training Club app. You can create a profile, set goals, and track your progress. You can follow the workouts the app provides for you, or you can customize your own workouts. This app is FREE and is one of the best personal trainers I’ve ever used! And, if you like running, you can link it with the Nike+ Running app, which is also free.
Don’t have time for a lengthy workout? Download the 7 Minute Workout app. It’s free and gives you a full body workout in 7 minutes. Or, you can upgrade and pay for additional workouts and customize the workouts. Both the Nike+ Training Club app and the 7 Minute Workout app are easy to use and allow you to work out in the comfort of your own home with little to no equipment. That’s a huge bonus for me!
But, if you do want to get out in the snow and have fun with your family, sledding can be a great workout. All the miles I have circled our yard by pulling my son on his sled has certainly burned many calories. Think about it… trekking up your hill of choice, over and over and over, with sled and child in tow. Say bye bye to that excess fat! What a great way to spend time with your family while being healthy!
Whatever your winter workout choice is, have fun with it! Choose activities that you and/or your family enjoy. Just remember to keep moving!
Heather is a wife, a mom of one and a dog lover. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist, working with families near and far. She enjoys using her profession at home to improve the health of her own family as well.