Fitness First: Boost Winter Fitness at Home

Krista Howell
By Krista Howell December 14, 2016 19:23

The short days and long nights of winter have arrived in the Mother Lode, along with colder temperatures and the promise of welcome rain and snow.

The downside? Confronted by the elements, we often put exercise on the back burner – particularly if outdoor activities like walking, running, cycling or kayaking are our activities of choice.

So how do we stay engaged? What we need is motivation – first to get started on a new winter exercise program and then to stay with it until spring reopens our fitness options.

My advice: Look within – within your home, that is.

Sure, you can bundle up in SmartWool, GoreTex and all manner of breathable, water-repellent gear and brave the elements. Or you can drive over to the gym and wait in line for your favorite machines.

The chart below sets forth a group of exercises that you can easily do in the comfort of your home.

Getting started is always difficult, and sticking with an exercise program you do alone and at home can be challenging. I suggest you set a specific time for these exercises – consider it your fitness alarm clock. Then stay motivated by writing down how you feel when you have completed the routine. If you choose not to work out, write down why you skipped, then honestly evaluate the excuse you’ve come up with.

Completing these exercises will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending on your endurance level. Start at a realistic pace and give yourself lots of room for improvement. Repeat each exercise up to the optimum three times, allowing 15 seconds rest – or more if you need it – between each set.

You can start with just one set and gradually increase to three. The only equipment needed is a small pair of weights, something under five pounds each (or you can use two full soup cans) and a watch, clock or smartphone to time the rest and intervals. Some exercises can be performed either sitting or standing.

This routine may seem challenging, particularly if you’re doing it alone. Maybe you’d like some guidance or company. If so, I invite you to join in a group exercise class with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Tuolumne County Senior Center. Call the center at (209) 533-2622 for information.

Whether exercises are done alone or in a class, it’s always amazing how much even a modest routine can improve your life.

I see it every day, and it’s inspiring to watch the confidence that physical activity can bring.

Exercise physiologist Krista Howell of Sonora works with cardiac patients and teaches senior fitness.

Copyright © 2016 Friends and Neighbors Magazine

Krista Howell
By Krista Howell December 14, 2016 19:23
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