Winter is coming! The good news is that if you never got around to achieving that “summer body”, oversized sweaters are just around the corner. The bad news is that cold weather for most people also means a decrease in physical activity. Even if you’re not waking up at 5AM for a run before work during the summer months, you’re probably still getting outside, walking at various summertime festivals, or opting for a nice outdoor stroll.
With cold weather and icy roads on the way, it’s about to get even easier to make excuses for sitting on the couch all weekend. Prevent weight gain and the aches and pains of a sedentary lifestyle by trying these 8 tips to increase your activity level and improve your overall wellness.
1) Ask your in-home robot to be your in-home personal trainer
As funny as it may be to ask Alexa to tell you a joke, it doesn't get you off the couch. Try asking “Alexa, give me a 7 minute workout”. She’ll coach you through just 7 short minutes of exercise that you can do from your home with no equipment. You can go at your own pace, and you can even ask her for 2 in a row if you’re feeling ambitious. You don’t even have to stop watching Netflix for this one.
2) Hit the mall for some laps
The mall at Robinson is a perfect indoor space for walking when it’s just too cold outside. They even have a program for Mall Walkers. If you stick to it, you can even be rewarded through their rewards program for walkers who hit mileage milestones. Check out their program here: https://www.shoprobinsonmall.com/mall-walkers/. If you stay away from the food court treats and keep it to window-shopping only, you’ll burn a few calories without burning through your paycheck.
3) Visit a museum
Pittsburgh has so many incredible museums, and those long exhibit halls are great for racking up your daily steps. The Carnegie museums of Pittsburgh are sure to keep your mind occupied so that you won’t even notice how high your FitBit count is getting. For parents, The Carnegie Science Center is great for kids and large enough for strollers. Just take the ramps instead of the elevator to keep yourself moving while you’re there.
4) Download an App on your phone to guilt you into moving
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, chances are it’s with you the vast majority of the day. There are lots of apps out there that can track your steps while you carry your phone. This way, your phone can give you a gentle nudge to remind you that you’re behind on your daily step goal. You can start out just monitoring how many steps you get on average, then aim to increase. If you’re averaging 3,000, try to get to 6,000. You can do steps from anywhere, so when your phone buzzes, you can get up and take a few trips down the hall. Just be careful not to make every walk break a snack break.
5) Find a walking buddy at work
If you spend a lot of your time at work sitting, find a co-worker to take daily walk breaks with. You can keep each other accountable, and replace your less productive work breaks with more productive health breaks.
6) Join a Faster Challenge
If you’re really looking to take your winter fitness to the next level, check out Faster’s 25 day fitness challenge. If you need some extra motivation: Drop 3% body fat, and Faster will buy back your challenge and apply it towards a membership. Their last challenge of 2018 starts Wednesday, October 24th at 6:30 pm for Holiday Hustle. Visit www.performfaster.com for more info.
7) Power Clean
Cleaning is something we all do, but did you know you can turn it into (even more) of a workout? Make a point to walk briskly, or even run between rooms. Do lunges or squats as you vacuum or pick up toys. Get creative – anything you can do to get your heart rate up while you’re cleaning is good work. You may even get done with your chores faster!
Dancing is a great cardio workout. There are a ton of great workout DVDs where dancing is the main component. Check out Zumba and Beachbody for some of the more popular ones. Try Ebay or one of the final yard sales of the year to score a great deal on one or more. As a less structured option, turn on your own favorite music for 30 minutes and freestyle. In the comfort of your own home, you can finally dance your heart out, because literally no one is watching!