Fit Inside and Out
The wind is howling. Sleet is pelting your windows. Do you curl up under a blanket and wait for spring? Or do you put on your favorite music and start dancing? Physical activity in the winter doesn’t have to be drudgery. “Not only is it good for your body, it helps combat depression. It helps us feel better about ourselves. As you exercise, you think about your life, work through problems – it becomes your own mental break,” observes Ericka M. Dawydko, World Instructor Training Schools (WITS) Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Director at the Livonia YMCA.
Ericka offers these ideas to integrate winter fitness seamlessly into your life:
- Got it? Use it. “Most people have some sort of exercise apparatus that they’re not using,” notes Ericka. “Dust off that equipment.”
- Turn on the tube. “Use it to help you get fit,” says Ericka. “If you have a Wii™, choose sports and fitness activities. Some cable companies offer ‘on-demand’ exercise classes. Or maybe you have an old Pilates or yoga video or DVD. Those work too.”
- Dance. “Dancing is a great way to burn calories, even just 15 or 20 minutes a day,” says Ericka. “Put on your favorite music and get yourself out of the doldrums.”
- Step it up. “Walk the stairs one at a time, two at a time, for 15 to 20 minutes,” Erica advises. “It’s all about increasing your heart rate, getting your body moving.”
- Play. “Play with kids,” urges Ericka. “Building a snowman is physically demanding – it’s all upper and lower-body exercise, plus we’re spending time with our loved ones. Incorporate exercises into a game of duck-duck-goose or musical chairs.”
- Work Workout. “Get up and leave your desk as often as possible. If you do three 10-minute walks, there’s your 30 minutes of exercise.”
Download the MoveWell Every Day Exercise Circuit, from the Michigan Institute for Human Performance (MIHP). Using the photos and instructions, create your own exercise circuit at home.
Save on your YMCA Membership with HAP Advantage.
Joining fees are waived for HAP members on full facility memberships at Metro Detroit YMCAs – saving you up to $250 depending on the type of membership. Standard monthly rates apply.
For most people, beginning a light, low intensity workout program is safe. However, if you are new to exercising, have been inactive for an extended period of time, have any medical issues or are looking to start an intense exercise program, you should speak to your doctor first.