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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Working Out at Home

Here comes the winter…. and with it generally means winter pounds. Now it makes sense for outdoor creatures to gain pounds in the winter to keep warm, but there is no need for humans to do the same. Therefore, the winter time is the best time to work out in the comfort of your home.

During the summer months there are so many outdoor activities we undertake that help us keep our slender figures that generally go away in the winter. There are no more outdoor BBQs, which means less outdoor volleyball. Generally we are trying to run from one indoor setting, or our car, to cozy up next to a fire place. No more random meandering around malls or parks. Usually there are less hiking trips, unless you strap on some snowshoes.

So in order to combat the doldrums of winter, we need to make sure we stay in shape during the long, cold winter months.

The following are tips on what you can do during the winter months to keep those unwanted pounds off:

  1. Hit the treadmill. It is not everyone’s favorite apparatus, but a treadmill is an easy alternative to your daily jogs. If you have one in the basement, dust it off, power it up and go for a jog or walk. If you don’t own one, either look online to find a cheap one (CraigsList.org is a great place to find used treadmills) or go to a local retailer to find a new one.
  2. Get on your bike. If you own a bike trainer, plop your bike down on it and start peddling. This will get your heart rate moving and help you ward off those unwanted pounds. If your house allows for it, try and set it up near the TV, and peddle your way through your favorite one-hour TV show. As the credits roll you will have burned calories without even knowing it. If you are up for the challenge, try and peddle through an entire movie.
  3. Crunch your abs. As you are watching TV, lay on the floor or your couch and do simple ab crunches. You don’t need to go all the way up, like sit-ups your 5th grade gym teacher required you to do, just go up until your shoulder blades are off the ground, then come back down and repeat. In order to get the best results alternate between having your legs facing forward, off to the left and off to the right. Again, doing this while watching TV is a great way to get your The Office fix and tone your body at the same time. You can also purchase an Ab Wheel for under $10 from eSportsonline that will help to ensure you are not straining your neck or back.
  4. Climb your stairs. If you live in a house or apartment with stairs, use them… often. Climbing stairs is a great way to burn calories and tone your legs. According to an April 2002 article published in “Medicine & Scinece in Sports & Exercise”, you burn 0.11 calories per stair going up and 0.05 calories per stair going down. Multiply this by the number of stairs you are climbing and *poof* no more winter blubber. Adding to this, if you work in an office building try not taking the elevator up, but rather the stairs. Maybe you start off with going a few floors and work your way up to ascending the entire building. Whatever it takes, the rewards will pay off.
  5. Walk in warmth. If the treadmill isn’t for you, and you are looking to either power walk or just walk for fitness, then there might not be a better place o do so in the winter time than the mall. The spacious buildings are designed for pedestrian traffic and allow for extended walks in warmth. If you are walking the mall, and it has two or more stories, make sure to use the stairs to go up and down the flights of stairs. As discussed above you will only help yourself. Also, an added benefit of walking the mall is the chance to not only people watch but to see everything that the stores have to offer. But bare in mind, if you are going to stop in to look at that new shirt, do so after you are satisfied with your walk, not in the middle of your program.

These are simple things you can do at home or the office to help you get through the blahs of winter. Try them for a week and see how you feel.

If you have any other home work-out tips tell us about them in the comments section.

Keep sporting!

- Who’s In First

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