As the weather gets cooler, most people naturally pull out their crock pots, stock up on lots of hot cocoa, and indulge more in comfort foods. By the time the winter comes around, it is a full-on battle to even think about going to the gym. However, exercise is an excellent way to boost endorphins, maintain a healthy heart, and shed those unwanted holiday pounds.
In addition to weight training, there are lots of different cardio workouts to try and can help you get up, get out, and start the day right, no matter the weather.
Think of Zumba as a really fun dance party where heart pumping exercise is just an added benefit. This Colombian inspired dance and fitness routine is one of the hottest and most popular classes today and is filled with lots of fun Latin music and Latin-inspired moves. While it may feel like a fun dance party, you can shed more than 300 calories per workout session. There are many women who have testified about how many dress sizes and pounds they’ve lost due to this fun workout. For those who love a good salsa party, Zumba is worth a try!
Elliptical Machine (HIIT Training)
News reports often share that the elliptical machine is a favorite among many celebrities including Halle Berry. But since this machine is much easier on the joints than a typical treadmill, many people feel like they don’t get a good workout on one. To get the most out of it, use a method like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is great option because you only spend two minutes doing a low to moderate pace, then increase to a high pace for 30 seconds. Go back and forth between speeds for 15 to 20 minutes for a complete workout. This is a great way to get an excellent workout in, and save tons of time. Forget spending hours in the gym. Just cut it down to 15 minutes on the elliptical!
Swimming is probably the best form of cardio around, and is one of the easiest and safest exercises on fragile joints. Swimming allows the body to exercise every single muscle and is not only great for cardio, but also strength training, due to the resistance of the water. For those who don’t know how to swim, start with beginner swim lessons. This is a cardio workout worth learning for the long-term!
Just because it is too cold to go out on the road, doesn’t mean a bike lover can’t still enjoy their favorite exercise. There are tons of really fun, high-intensity cycling classes you can take indoors. Indoor cycling classes are done with stationary bikes and the workout gets the heart rate up quickly. Depending on the instructor and their style, half of the class time might be spent cycling while standing, or riding against a lot more resistance. This type of bike riding may take a little bit of getting used to, but it’s tons of fun, and an excellent way to fit in some heart pumping cardio!
Crossfit is one of the newest workout crazes on the scene, and many are attracted to it because of its ability to work on strength training and cardio in one. After a few months of Crossfit, you’ll start to see a lot of improvements in overall tone and shape. This bootcamp isn’t for the faint of heart though, so make sure you’re up for the challenge.
All these workouts promise to give a good bang for their buck. So, this winter get off the treadmill and try a different routine. Your body needs a bit of variety and surprises to keep it guessing and working at its best!