Last month we explored the cardiovascular aspects of the
workout routine known as shoveling snow.
But maybe you live in an apartment building or you don’t do the shoveling in your household. We’re all shut in more than usual in the winter. What then?
There are plenty of opportunities to get exercise indoors,
and they don’t have to feel like an exercise routine at all. It depends on your
Everybody has an opinion on what the best workouts are
during these snowy, hibernate-y months. Most of them involve going to a gym,
joining a club, walking around the mall or doing a specific type of workout.
We’re not doing any of that. We’re going to focus on every day life kind of things that you can do on those days when there is nothing to be done but hunker down in your own home.
So here we go with some cold weather indoor workouts that are not really workouts:
- Playing with the kids/grandkids – Give the kids a piggyback ride around the house. Pretend you’re on a hike pointing out all of the things you’re seeing out in “the woods” along the way. You get yourself moving, and you keep the kids entertained. Don’t try this with the teens. They’re too big and what’s more, they can find their own entertainment/transportation.
- Dancing – Have you ever left a concert, club or wedding reception where you’d been dancing all night, and didn’t realize exactly how much you’d been dancing until you sat down at the end of the night? You can do that in your living room. Do it. Nobody’s going to judge you.
- Cleaning out the closet – You’re going to have to do it eventually and you probably aren’t going to during the warm, fun, summer months. This is kind of a one time per season thing, but it can be exhausting in a good way. Perhaps you have a main bedroom closet where you keep your clothes for whatever season it currently is, and you have another closet in another room where you keep your off-season clothes. It’s almost like moving to a different apartment, on a smaller scale, but it will streamline your morning what-to-wear routine.
- Chopping fruits and vegetables – Meal preparation in general can be a quite vigorous activity. But even more so if you can incorporate as much vegetable and fruit chopping as possible. Not only will you get the workout, but much more healthful meals will result! You can’t lose. But don’t get too enthusiastic about this. If you have space to freeze some meals for a later date, then great. But if not, remember you and your family can only eat so much zucchini in a week and it goes bad.
- Play a musical instrument – Playing a guitar, or even air guitar, can be a real power workout. Especially if you are the type who really rocks out when you find your groove. The same can be said for playing the piano or drums, except for these you will probably want an actual instrument. (Air piano is an under-valued talent these days.) Any brass or wind instrument will be great for keeping your respiratory system strong.
- Furniture assembly – If you’ve ever bought a piece of furniture and assembled it yourself, you’ll know they don’t make it easy. At one point or another during the process it may have resembled a wrestling match on your living room floor. But if you manage to finish it all by yourself, you stand to really impress your spouse. If you can’t, then it is a great team-building project for the two of you.
- Pace the room while on the phone – Many studies have suggested that multi-tasking isn’t truly possible and certainly is not efficient. That is, if the two or more tasks require dexterity or mental focus. But walking isn’t complicated. So if you are on a long call, while you are giving that your full attention, you might as well get some steps in.
- Laugh – You’ve probably heard it takes more face muscles to frown than it does to smile. Research is inconclusive on that, but it’s irrelevant because laughing blows them both out of the water! While laughing, you’re working out from your face down to your belly. And if the joke is funny enough you are probably kicking your legs too. Laughter might be not only the best medicine but the best workout that isn’t really a workout.
This winter has been mild, so get out this winter and enjoy as much as you can, but when you can’t, enjoy the Great Indoors!