Wintertime in Washington can be a bit gloomy and uninviting for those of us who want to workout. It can be tempting to neglect exercising, but come spring you will likely regret your decision. So focus on indoor activities and exercise routines to help burn off those extra holiday calories. Here are some simple tools and techniques to aid you in exercising at home or on the go.
Strengthen Your Heart and Body with Squats
For those with limited space and equipment, try increasing your heart rate with squats. With your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended in front of your body, bend your knees as if you are going to sit in a chair while sticking out your rear. Squat down, stopping just above a ninety degree angle then stand back up with a tall posture. Continue this movement for thirty seconds then repeat three to four times with a twenty-second break in between. If you find this movement difficult because of balance issues or joint pain, do the same movement in front of a chair.
Improve Cardio and Coordination with Jumping Jacks
Another movement that will get your heart rate up is the jumping jack. It is excellent for engaging both the upper and lower body, while improving coordination and motor skills. If you experience pain or discomfort in your hip or knees, alternate one leg at a time, stepping away from the body with an arm swing over head. Alternate between the right and left side. While you may need more space to complete a jumping jack than a squat, both exercises can typically be performed in your home with minimum space.
Consider Getting a TRX
For those looking for a more complete workout, I would recommend one of my favorite and most versatile tools, the TRX. The TRX is a body weight suspension trainer that allows you to complete a full body workout while improving your posture, balance and strength along with cardio. Created by a Navy Seal, TRX was quickly adopted by physical therapists for its ability to pinpoint specific muscle groups and help with ease of movement. The beauty of the system is the portability and versatility to use it both outdoors and in smaller indoor areas. I recommend and use the TRX with a majority of my clientele. Learn more about TRX at www.trxtraining.com.
While the weather may be wet and stormy, there is no reason to abandon your physical goals and health. Utilizing these tips and tools will keep you fit and your heart healthy, with the added benefit of making working out more enjoyable. You will thank yourself when spring begins to bloom and you are prepared for the warmer weather.
Kyle Ciminski is a Personal Trainer in Anacortes. In the fitness industry for over ten years, he holds over 30 training certifications and is a Certified TRX Master Trainer. While he maintains a large client base, his specialty is injury recovery and training active seniors.