Keeping a regular physical practice going in colder winter climates is a challenge for many of us. While it's understandable to want to curl up and be more sedentary in the less sun-shiny months, finding creative ways to keep moving rewards us with many health benefits, both physical and mental. Keeping up your strength, flexibility, and confidence are the obvious reasons to get your move on, but movement's mood-enhancing effects alone are totally worth stepping up for. In fact, exercise has been shown to decrease feelings of depression and anxiety no matter what the intensity level. Read on for six simple suggestions for staying active through those blustery months when you're "not a gym person."
• Dedicate a space in your apartment or house where you can keep an unrolled yoga mat ready and waiting for you to lunge and plank your way onto at any time. You may also want to keep some props such as a Pilates Magic Circle, light weights, or a yoga block on a shelf nearby. If you'd benefit from some structure and guidance, check out one of many the great online streaming platforms such as Pilates Anytime or Do Yoga With Me.
• Get to know your local Pilates or yoga studio and look into what kind of classes they offer. If a before or after work class doesn't work in your schedule, see if there are studios near your work that offer express lunch hour classes and mark them ahead of time in your calendar as meetings so that you prioritize them.
• Dance! Grab a friend and go out dancing, or put on your favorite music and dance at home until you feel your body heat and your mood elevate. Another thought: sign-up for that hip hop or flamenco dance class you've been wanting to take from a local dance studio.
• Get a mini-trampoline and jump, jump, jump. I like to put on my favorite podcast and do at least 15 minutes to get my heart-rate up. A good rebounder doesn't have to be expensive, either. I recently purchase a perfectly bouncy and stable one from my local sporting goods store for less than $70.
• Bundle up and go out for a brisk walk. Yes, I resist this option as well, but the truth is, once I'm out there, I enjoy it and usually feel refreshed. If having a destination helps, consider walking to the grocery store or to the library instead of calling a Lyft. The key here is to really BUNDLE UP!
• Treat yourself to a retreat! There are so many options these days that will help you recommit to a healthy routine and get you out of the cold. You're also sure to meet great people and be introduced to new teachers and ways of moving.