Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter. While the temperatures are chilly, it can be tough to motivate yourself to get outside to exercise. Shorter days, gusty winds, and the potential for icy sidewalks and dangerous conditions, can limit regular outdoor activities, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on being active. Here’s how you can increase your heart rate with the decreasing temperatures.
Joining a Gym
It can be intimidating to join a gym full of young, fitness enthusiasts sweating and grunting, but the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) paired to come up with a facility locator for older adults. Narrow the search by city and facility type, and you are provided with a list of locations that satisfy your needs. Perhaps you are looking to take a yoga or Zumba group class where you can sweat among your peers in a welcoming environment. Or you may prefer an individualized personal training program with an instructor who is knowledgeable in your age group’s requirements. For any type of fitness interest, there is a gym fitting fit for your needs.
Fitness at Home
If you aren’t interested in spending extra money on a gym membership, you may consider indoor exercises you can do for free at home. There are plenty of ways to get your heart rate up while still having fun. Turn up the volume on your speakers and dance to the music. Dancing can burn up to 443 calories per hour! You can also walk up and down stairs to feel the burn. Traditional housework and chores also sneakily burn calories because of the amount of movement involved. Vacuuming tacks on extra steps while shoveling a driveway requires full body exertion. A clean home is just an added benefit!
If you are looking to add some entertainment value to your active lifestyle, consider adding a hobby like bowling, building model sets, or even cooking to burn extra calories. These activities not only trim your waistline but are also a great way to maintain a strong social life. Babysitting grandchildren and walking the dog are additional forms of hidden exercise that keep you active, even during the winter months. If you are interested in knowing the amount of steps or exercise you get in a day, pedometers or new smart technology can help you track calories burned.
Enjoying Winter Sports
Despite the cold temperatures, you may be adventurous enough to bundle up and venture out. Options like walking and snowshoeing are relatively low impact, though you need to be careful watching where you step. The number of falls increases by 20 percent with the threat of inclement weather. Other fun outdoor activities during the winter include sledding, ice skating, skiing and even snow tubing. Some of these activities require additional winter exercise gear or an increased fitness level; so always check with your doctor to ensure you are up to the sport.