Recreation

Moving indoors to get that workout

Cold and dark make it tougher to be outside

Push-ups are a good workout at home and one you don't need any equipment. (Southeast Iowa Union)
Push-ups are a good workout at home and one you don’t need any equipment. (Southeast Iowa Union)
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It’s getting cold — again. And it’s probably here to stay for a few months.

It’s dark in the morning. It’s getting dark by the time we get home from work (or get done with work at home). That’s here to stay, too, for a few months.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to get in that outdoor workout, at least during the work week.

What do we do?

The simple answer is move your workouts indoors. But some don’t have equipment at home or the desire to join a fitness club.

You still can venture outdoors, of course, as long as you dress properly — for cold and dark. But finding something different — like a new indoor workout — can be beneficial in a lot of ways.

“Dedicated fitness enthusiasts are very often creatures of habit,” Kate Larsen, a certified and licensed wellness and business coach, wrote in 2006 at ExperienceLife.com. “Some of us prefer to exercise indoors. Some of us prefer to exercise outdoors. And once we find a route or regimen that works for us — gosh darn it, we like to stick to it.

“The trouble is, when we opt out of trying new activities in new environments, even the most satisfying regimens can gradually become stale and routine. Not only do we risk becoming complacent, bored or burned out on our exercise program, we can easily develop muscle imbalances and overuse injuries that set us back or throw us off our fitness plans altogether.”

The bottom line is cross-training is good — for your mind and body

“Experts have long recommended cross-training ... as one of the best solutions to the challenges of boredom, plateauing and overuse injuries,” Larsen wrote. “And moving between indoor and outdoor environments can be a particularly good way of diversifying your program while also building in some changes of scenery.”

Here are some ideas to getting that cold-weather workout in at home:

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— Anthony J. Yeung, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, offered this “10-minute, no-equipment, total-body workout” at myfitnesspal.com.

Start with reverse Lunges (six reps per side), then go to lateral split squats (6 reps per side), pushups (10 reps), hip bridges (10 reps), mountain climbers (30 seconds).

— HIIT (high-intensity interval training.

“This is perfect for the person who wants to make the most of their workout in the least amount of time,” according to an article at Money Crashers. “During a HIIT workout, you go super-hard and fast for a short period, then take a break. For example, do as many jumping jacks as you can for 60 seconds, then take a 30-second pause before moving onto a series of squats or pushups.

“A few studies looked at the benefits of HIIT compared to moderate-rate activity. One 2018 study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercising found that people who participated in HIIT enjoyed it more than moderate activities. A separate 2018 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that HIIT was more likely to improve heart-rate variability in previously inactive adults.”

You can find HIIT workouts online, but you can “put together your own program using exercises you probably remember from elementary school gym class: jumping jacks, pushups, and squats.”

— Here a couple more ideas from self.com:

Burpee — “Stand with your feet hip-width apart, core and glutes engaged. Bend your knees and reach forward to place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Kick your legs straight out behind you and immediately lower your entire body down to the ground, bending at the elbows, so that your chest touches the floor.

“Use your arms to quickly push your body back up while hopping your legs back under your body. Explode up, jumping vertically with arms stretched overhead. Land lightly on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent, and immediately repeat.”

Plank-up to frogger — Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.

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“Lower into a forearm plank, starting with your left arm, followed by your right. Then, come up in the reverse order — starting with your right arm and following with the left. Now that you’re back in the high plank, perform one frogger by jumping your feet outside your hands, keeping your weight in the center of your feet. Drop your butt down. Then, jump your feet back out to a high plank and repeat the plank-up starting with the right arm this time.

“If this is too challenging, scale down by doing the plank-up from your knees and walk your feet in for the frogger instead of jumping.”

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