By Sarah Pellegrino

It’s Never Too Cold To Feel The Burn

By Sarah Pellegrino Posted February 1, 2013 at 8:33 am

Twenty-degree weather is something we’ve become too familiar with these past few weeks. It makes getting up in the morning to run or go to the gym so painful. Honestly, who wants to run early in the morning when it’s that cold? But just because the weather isn’t in your favor doesn’t mean you have to skip your workout for the day. I’ve come up with different ways that you can keep warm and get a great workout in at the same time.

Workout Videos: 
One option is to invest in workout DVDs. This can be a fun way to vary your exercising style as well. You can get toned up with Jillian Michaels’ DVDs that can be found on Amazon for as low as $7 or keep to the beat with Julianne Hough’s videos “Dance With Julianne” for about $5. These workouts allow you to gradually increase the intensity level of your workout so you won’t become bored with the same routine.

If you increase the price level, your options include 60-90 day DVD home fitness programs like P90X and Insanity that are about $140 on Amazon. These videos are great, because if you stick to the programs you are likely to see results!
Chair Workout: 
Look around your house or apartment and what do you see? Open space in front of the TV, a wall, a chair perhaps? More than likely you have the resources to create your own fitness circuit with the help of online resources.

Woman’s Day Magazine has a great 15-Minute Chair Workout that includes: glute kicks, hip and thigh trimmers, leg toning moves, tricep dips, abdominal and butt lifts, and stretching at the end.

A chair can also be used to do push-ups by placing your feet on the chair and your hands on the ground. You can do side squats by placing one foot on the chair, the other on the ground and then squatting. You can also use the chair as a step (or use an actual stair) to step up with one foot and then the other.
Cross-Fit Blogs:
The latest fitness sensation has taken the fitness world by storm! You can join CrossFit gyms, join CrossFit clubs at universities, or even bring CrossFit workouts into your own home. There are many blogs partnered with videos that you could use to make up your own workout. CrossFit’s workouts are known as WOD’s (Workout of the Day) and by looking through various blogs and seeing what moves you could do with the equipment in your home, you could make up different WOD’s to keep your at-home exercises interesting!
Build Your Own Circuit:
The internet is a haven for at-home fitness. Between websites such as Women’s Health, Shape, and ACE, you can find various workouts that do not require much equipment. Common workouts include sets of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squats, and push-ups to name a few. What better way to motivate yourself than to build your own workout? The greatest part is that you don’t have to do it for an hour. According to LIVESTRONG.com, a 150-pound athlete can burn anywhere from 102-183 calories from a twenty-minute aerobic circuit. The break in your daily routine and the spike of energy you’ll get from this short workout make it worth it!
iPhone-Your New Workout Buddy:
Thanks to applications that can be downloaded to our phones, you don’t even have to make up your own workout. You can get an application that will make one for you! One of my favorites is the Nike Training App. You pick the setting, time, and intensity of the workout. The application then chooses the best workout for you from over 85 varieties! This is a great tool for at-home training or can even be used at a gym if you have the space.
Stairs:
This is my personal favorite and by far the one that requires the least equipment. If you live in an apartment building or college dorm this may be easier than if you live in a house. However, find a flight (or five) of stairs and run them. Run up, walk down, run up, walk down. Make a great playlist, get in the zone, set your timer for twenty minutes and go!
Avoid the Elevator:
If running stairs doesn’t float your boat, at least take them when leaving and coming home. Most buildings have an elevator, but try not to use it. LIVESTRONG.com did a whole article on the art of taking the stairs and found that a 150-pound person who takes the stairs for five minutes a day for five days a week can lose about 2.5 pounds in a year. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s a lot more than you lose taking the elevator.
IM Sports:
If you’re on a college campus, take advantage of the opportunity to participate in intramural sports. What a great way to stay active (inside) and meet great people! Team competition will motivate you to go out and practice/compete despite the cold weather.
Gym Time:
If you’re a full-time student on campus, then you have access to the university’s rec centers. If you live in an off-campus apartment, they probably have a gym also. If not, there are probably close to where you live and you should look into getting a membership if the cost is reasonable. There are so many added benefits to working out in the gym. You’re going to work harder if people are around and the social interaction is an added bonus.

If you’re hitting a mid-winter slump and getting bored with your usual gym routine, SWITCH IT UP! Try a group fitness class like Zumba, yoga, cycling, step, or a muscle class. This is a great way to try a format of exercise that you have never tried before and you will look forward to the different classes each week. Also, get your friends on board! Working out with friends is the best. You look forward to Zumba Wednesday or Yoga Thursday and can really get into exercise this way.

So there you have it folks! I hope I have given you some fun, new ways to spice up your workout routine so you can beat the winter blues that tend to strike fitness schedules around this time of year. Remember, nothing compliments exercise better than nutrition. Make sure that you’re not snacking throughout the day and eating unhealthy comfort foods. Take pride in the exercise you’re doing and treat yourself to healthy meals! Have fun and remember to take those stairs!

Fitness Quote of the Week: “You only regret the workouts you don’t do.”

Sarah is a junior at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, pursuing a career in sports business or the fitness industry. A group fitness instructor of Muscle Cut at UNC, she ran her first half-marathon last November and is training for her second in April! You can follow Sarah on twitter @SarahPell14.

image by jmstew0319 via flickr

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