Take the chill off cabin fever with creative workouts you can do anytime, anywhere.
Don’t let snow slow your go when it comes to crushing calories. Indoor winter workouts can help you beat the post-holiday blues and get your fitness goals on target for summer. (Quick tip: Discuss any new diet or exercise program with your physician.)
Climbing the walls? Rock climbing may be your calling. It’s an amazing full-body, adrenaline-generating and mentally demanding workout that can burn 500-900 calories per hour. It works the core, back, chest, triceps and grip strength. Nervous? Try out a rock wall course with a trainer or expert.
Indoor Roller Skating
The popularity of Derby Dolls has inspired many rinks to reopen their doors, giving us all a chance to lace up and roll out our frustrations. Keep it up for a whole hour and you could burn up to 500 calories, if not more.
Dancing, Zumba and even hula hoop fitness all involve physical and mental activity that integrate movement, emotion and the senses. Boost your endorphins and your courage in a group class, or grab a friend and step it out in a ballroom dancing class.
If dancing brings on feelings of anxiety, test out your toe point in barre classes. These focused classes demand your full attention, pulling you into the moment and out of the stressors of life. Movements borrow from ballet, yoga and Pilates for a muscle-elongating, strength-building class that does wonders for your core.
If you have to trick yourself into exercising, the trampoline might be your thing. Also known as rebounding, playful exercise like trampolining increases stamina, metabolism, range of motion, balance and heart health. Research has shown that trampoline exercise is 70% more effective than jogging, and with much less negative impact on bones and joints.
There are plenty of at-home cardio boxing and kickboxing workouts that can burn 300-400 calories. But exercise in a social setting supports holistic health, and a trainer can teach self-defense and build confidence while improving balance, strength and muscle size.
If you’re ready for an intense workout that tones every muscle group and can burn 500 calories in a half-hour session, karate, taekwondo, judo and jujitsu may be your jam. All that hard work and training can lead to catlike reflexes, a rock-hard physique, incredible stamina and increased confidence. It can even lead to improved mental health when the Shaolin moral code is followed, and patience and calm when the Dojo Kun from Shotokan Karate is incorporated.
Yoga isn’t just about flexibility. Its emphasis on mindfulness and mind-body-soul connection leads to lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression, as well as reduced inflammation and chronic pain. Classes that involve synchronized yoga movements can lead to increased rapport and compassion towards others. Those who practice mindful eating – which involves paying attention to feelings and sensations while consuming food – have even experienced weight loss, decreased binge eating and better control of blood sugar levels.
Probably the easiest and best way to incorporate healthy living into your daily life, even when it’s too cold to go outside, is to practice some form of meditation, also known as mindfulness. You don’t need special clothes or gear, though a good cushion can help with posture. And you don’t need a teacher or a class, though a weekend meditation retreat can be a great introduction.