By- Kelli Drummer-Avendano
It’s a brand new year and a chance for a new start. If one of your New Year’s resolutions isn’t to exercise more, then you’re probably in the minority. After the holidays, almost everyone feels like starting a new workout regime once January 1st comes around. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, the New Year begins right in the midst of the coldest season. So, if you don’t have a gym membership, or if you just want to stay home, here are five easy ways to get your exercise on.
Yes, this totally counts as exercise! Almost any movement can be turned into training for your body if you up the intensity. For example, you can do lunges while vacuuming or squats while dusting or washing windows. Even washing dishes can burn calories. Try lifting up on your tiptoes ten times, then rest and repeat, or you can do standing pushups by using the countertop.
If housework doesn’t motivate you to exercise, how about dancing? You don’t need to be a good dancer to get a good workout—all you need is music and movement. Get your heart rate up by listening to your favorite upbeat music—and be sure to vary your dance moves so it becomes a kind of interval training for your body. You’d be surprised how much fun working out can be when all you’re doing is dancing!
3. Active video gaming
There are numerous video game systems that specialize in active video gaming—so allow yourself to be a kid again. Speaking of kids, this is also a wonderful way to get your whole family moving while spending time together. You’ll find a wide variety of activities to choose from: bowling, basketball, tennis, jousting, dance-offs, etc. Some gaming consoles also offer “games” in which fitness trainers lead you through a workout, such as Zumba or yoga.
4. DIY home improvement
If your house needs a new coat of paint inside or an easy improvement project, the winter is an ideal time to get it finished. You won’t feel like you’re missing out by being stuck inside, and you’ll get an effective workout while enhancing your living space. You might be surprised to learn that painting a wall can burn as many as 400 calories per hour. And you’ll burn even more if you have to move furniture in the process.
5. Shoveling snow
OK, so you actually have to go outside to do this one, but it’s worth it for the workout you’ll be getting. Shoveling even light snow by hand is a great way to strengthen arms and legs since ideally, you should be squatting and not bending at the waist to shovel in order to protect your back. Exercising outside can also make you feel more energetic and invigorated—if you’re dressed correctly. Always wear layers and make sure your head, feet, and hands stay dry.