With delicious hot cocoa, rich apple cider and all those fruitcakes, winter has plenty of options to fill you up. When it comes time to slim back down, almost everyone has to battle the winter bulge. Starting early ensures that your fight is as simple as can be, giving you an advantage over everyone who scrambles after the holidays to pare back down to swimsuit size before the days get longer again. Pick your favorites from these five options or mix and match to create a workout plan that combines fun and fitness for your seasonal schedule.
Hit the Ski Slopes
Skiing offers intensive calorie burning as well as excellent toning and strength building. Aerobics are great for weight loss, and skiing puts your muscles, lungs and heart to the test. It’s also something that can usually only be done this time of year. Hit the slopes or strap on the bindings for a trip cross country to burn away calories before your next holiday event or even after a weekend of sampling your own baked goods.
The benefits of skiing for aerobic exercise include:
- Increased hand-eye coordination.
- Improved balance.
- Core strengthening.
- Enhanced cardiovascular endurance.
- Developed and toned lower-body muscles.
There was a time when hopping in the water during the freezing days of winter was something for penguins and polar bears. Thanks to modern technology, or the local hot springs, you can now enjoy swimming and water aerobics all year long. Consider bringing a high-quality wetsuit to make it easy to change without getting chills, and pack all your favorite pool noodles and kickboards. Summertime fun toys make some of the best water aerobics equipment, regardless of season.
Stay fit with water aerobics to enjoy:
- Improved cardiovascular health.
- A balanced full-body workout.
- Exceptional calorie burn.
- Seasonal stress relief.
Water Resistance Training
Pool noodles and goggles aren’t just for aerobics training. Since you’re already at the pool, check out options for resistance training in the steamy, heated water. Fan paddles and webbed gloves can really help you feel the burn during the winter season. Whether you group up with an instructor or go it alone, water resistance training gets blood flowing and keeps your body limber without undue stress or impact.
Spending time with water resistance training delivers:
- Low-impact strength building.
- Easier balance for core development.
- Simple muscle targeting and toning.
- Increased circulation throughout the body.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Slippery slopes and icy cliffs make outdoor rock climbing a dangerous p
astime at this time of year. Venture indoors to discover a world of rock climbing that only exists in climate-controlled environments. Take on beginner’s courses designed to help you learn to get a grip on handholds and make the leap between ledges, or tackle daunting inverted slopes that challenge even the most surefooted of cragsmen. Indoor rock climbing ranks among the best activities for energy and focus, combining the thrill of new heights and exhilarating adventure with fast-paced decision making for a true body-and-mind workout.
With rock climbing, you can look down on all you survey and enjoy:
- Increased upper-body strength.
- Enhanced core and lower-body stability.
- Developing quick thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Greater focus and stress relief.
Yoga and Pilates
Even if there’s no gym with a heated pool or indoor rock wall nearby, you can still get a workout for the mind and body in the comfort of your own home. Yoga and pilates vary greatly in philosophy and technique, but both provide workouts that require little to nothing in the way of tools and equipment and lead to exceptional results. You only need a space big enough for a good full-body stretch and regular movement, making these excellent options for refreshing and refocusing during the cabin-fever periods of winter.
Yoga and pilates both deliver:
- Greater flexibility over time.
- Increased stamina and muscle tone.
- Strengthened core muscles.
- Relief from stress and pain.
Mix and match all of these options or focus on just a few to get a workout sure to help combat the seemingly inevitable weight gain that comes with the perfect storm of winter weather and festive celebration. Stay fit and healthy all winter long to get a jump on next year’s summer look long before you set your New Year’s resolution.
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