Fight Urge to Hibernate and Find New Ways to Get Moving

It’s not just your imagination: When the weather cools off, our bodies start trying to conserve energy to use as heat. We eat a little more and exercise a little less. Unfortunately, this natural survival strategy is also a surefire way for packing on a few extra pounds during the winter.

But winter doesn’t have to be the season of sloth. There are plenty of cold-weather activity options suitable for most people. Some of them don’t cost a penny, and even those that do don’t have to be expensive.

Here are a few tips we recommend that won't cost you a dime:

  1. Take the stairs. At home or work, spend 20 minutes walking up and down stairs for a workout that’s more vigorous than you might expect.
  2. Clean your house. Washing windows or floors can burn about 350 to 450 calories per hour for women and men, respectively. Even light housework can burn calories.
  3. Build a snowman. This is a great activity for the whole family. Just be sure everyone bundles up. And you can toss in a friendly snowball fight for even more movement and fun. 
  4. Use exercise videos. Many local libraries have collections of exercise videos or DVDs. Some cable and satellite TV systems have exercise shows you can watch on demand, or you can record fitness shows on any TV station to use at your convenience.
If these don't do the trick, here are few ideas that involve a small fee:

  1. Find an indoor pool. Try a local community center or school, where the public is often allowed to swim during off-hours. Swimming and water aerobics are great forms of low-impact exercise.
  2. Venture outdoors. Many recreational areas have paths devoted to hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. Equipment can be rented there or from an outdoor equipment retailer.
  3. Create your own home gym. Look for a gently used stationary bike or treadmill at a garage sale or on Craig's List. Or invest in some hand weights, an exercise ball and a jump rope, all for about $50.
  4. Join a fitness club. The cost of membership to your local gym may be worth every penny if it means staying in shape during these colder months.

For information about personal training at GMC, please contact Edward Gilbert, MS, CSCS, by email or at 678-312-2810.


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