Stay Focused on Your Weight-Loss Goals This Winter with Indoor Exercising
The cold weather doesn’t give you a pass to stop exercising. Outdoor walks may be out of the question for you, but there are still plenty of ways to keep active and move during the cold, dark winter months.
Rachel Wagner, MS, LD, a Licensed Dietitian at the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center, offers some tips on finding ways to exercise indoors this winter.
- Join a gym or take gym-based classes. Gyms may get crowded in the first few months of the year, but it is a great way to get moving and meet new people with the same goals. If you have been wanting to try out a gym-based class, try classpass.com and see if any gyms in your area are participating. You can try different classes and they offer a one-week trial.
- Find a hobby with built-in physical activity. There are many hobbies that offer automatic health benefits from movement—indoor rock wall climbing, skating, dance. The possibilities are endless.
- Participate in online exercise classes. There are free videos on YouTube you can use to help you get moving. Paid online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu also offer exercise videos. Fitnessblender.com is another option for easy-to-learn exercises with a motivational trainer.
- Exercise at home with no equipment. Exercising doesn’t have to be complicated. You can get a full body workout by doing simple activities such as walking stairs, walking in place, dancing or doing jumping jacks. You can also find simple exercises to help gain strength, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips, planks, and bear crawls.
- Exercise at home with equipment. You don’t need to buy a treadmill, stationary bike or rowing machine to get a full body workout at home. There is inexpensive equipment you can find at your local fitness store, Target or Walmart to help you get a cardiovascular and strength workout. You can purchase kettlebells, medicine balls or sandbells that add increased weight when you lift during exercises like squats, lunges, and shoulder presses. They also provide you with a powerful cardiovascular workout. You can get a good resistance workout with your body weight using resistance bands, foam rollers or stability balls. Look online for specific exercises or make an appointment with a trainer to teach you proper form and technique. You can then take that skill home and do the exercises yourself.
If you really want to lose weight this winter, diet is as important as exercise. Rachel says, “Losing weight is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise, so don’t lose focus on your diet. Once your goals change to weight maintenance, you can focus more on exercise.”
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week to lose weight. To achieve significant weight loss, you should get more than 250 minutes per week of exercise. Rachel adds, “It is easier to eat less than it is to burn it off with exercise.”
Like the best diet, the best exercise is one you can stick with long-term. Rachel says, “Everyone is unique. Some people think exercising at home is great, and others enjoy a class that makes you accountable to attend. But no matter what, we all have busy lives, so schedule your activity. It’s more likely to get done if it’s on our calendars.”
If you need help keeping your weight goals on track, talk to your primary care physician or schedule an appointment at the St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center by calling (859) 212-4625. You can also watch our free medical weight management seminar online.