Published on February 23, 2015
It may be cold out there now, but believe it or not, spring is on the way. Will you be ready to get outside? If not, just know that the best way to prepare for spring is to remain active all winter.
Everywhere in North America, we experience decreased daylight during winter. That means that to stay active and health, it is necessary to increase our levels of indoor activities.
What exercises are best indoors?
The key is to select a variety of activities that you enjoy so that you can choose from different options and vary your exercise routine, whatever that routine is for you. Staying active through the winter will help boost your immunity, will increase the feel good chemicals serotonin and dopamine and keep your joints ready for spring outdoor activities.
Varying your routine and activities really helps to conquer boredom and engages a larger range of muscle groups. Here are some ideas:
- Indoor cycling: Either with stationary bicycle at home or at a gym, or with your own bike using a stationary trainer. 30 minutes.
- Walking up and down the steps: Walk at least one full flight, up and down for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Dumbbell curls and presses: You can use handheld weights – or – even full water bottles or cans of soup. Do three sets of 15 repetitions each.
- Assisted squats – with fitness ball: Keep your back on a fitness ball, against the wall for support. Four sets of 15 repetitions.
- Swimming: If you don’t have a pool, try a health club. Swimming is a weight supported activity relieving stress on joints. Aquatics and aqua-cycling are other options that may be available at your local club. 45 minutes.
- Resistance training: At a gym weight room, or at home, with handheld weights or using your own body weight: Use a circuit type format to hit the major muscles and work your cardiovascular system all at once. Two 15 minute circuits.
Try this Sample Circuit
Tuck Jump: 10
Burpee jump: 10
Push-up plank: Hold for 15 seconds
Lunges: 15 lunges per leg. Do this twice
Step-Up: On a bench or low chair: 15 steps each leg
Stair calf raises: 15 repetitions. Do this twice.
Standard push-up (either male or female version): 10 repetitions. Do this twice.
Prone contralateral limb raises: 10 raises for each limb X 2 sets
Triceps dip: 10 repetitions. Do this twice.
Side plank: Hold for 15 seconds on each side.
Alternate arm and leg crunch: 15 repetitions on each limb. Do this twice.
Keep active indoors and you will be more than ready for outdoor spring activities!
Michael A. Ciolfi HBPE BSc DC MBA DBA
Director of Education, Year III
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
6100 Leslie Street,
Toronto, OntarioM2H 3J1