Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Guest Post : Winter Workouts

Hi all, I am Julie Roberts, a proud wife, SAHM, runner, outdoorsy nature lover, and a fitness fanatic! I also love to write and now that I am a full-time SAHM I have a lot more time to focus on it! Thankfully for me, Vikki has been kind enough to let me share my writing with you, her readers, on her amazing blog. So for today, I have some of my favorite tips to working out in the winter months when it’s so easy to let up on your workouts because of the cold, I hope you enjoy it! Here’s my email if you have any questions or would like to get in touch!
Is it really that time of year again? If the snow isn’t already on my doorstep, it’s in the forecast for sure. Although the cold weather tempts me to stay in with a big cup of apple cider, I still need to stay in shape. After all, the kids don’t feel the same as I do about the snow. They love it, can’t get enough of it, and cannot wait to spend a lot of time outdoors. If I invest in myself and my body, I’ll be better able to enjoy that time with them.

Hard Work Outdoors

Last year, I had an epiphany. I used to have my husband do a lot of the more ornery outdoor chores, such as gardening, raking leaves and shoveling snow and ice off the stairs, driveways and walkways. I reasoned that he’s stronger and it’s probably easier for him. Then I wondered, why is that? He is stronger in large part because he does those activities. So I started doing them. Yes, 20 minutes spent shoveling snow is not how I imagine a luxurious morning. But I was going to exercise anyway, and this is a great way to burn calories! This is like free exercise minutes that pays off in a more comfortable home. I happily do these chores myself now.

Working Out at Home

There are certain parts of the year, however, when outside chores are the only energy I’m willing to spend outside. That’s when I take my exercise routines indoors. I also take the outdoor chores approach to the home interior. I clean the kitchen counters, wash a few dishes, and do some squats. Done! When it comes to proper indoor workouts, I’m a runner who has no treadmill. I have no choice but to get creative. I like to put on my heart rate monitor and push myself with some bodyweight exercises and cardio workout routines. I’m a big fan of interval training, so I create a few plans for myself and go for it. But I get bored easily, working out indoors day after day. So I like to change it up with a few workout videos. If I’m feeling up to an intense workout, I set aside some time with Tony Horton. If not, I will do some stretching videos like Cardio Barre, Pilates or yoga.

Outdoor Fun

The holidays and winter are a fantastic time to get some serious cardio in. For a simple task, I like to take my kids for a long walk in the stroller to see holiday lights. But I can do much, much more than that. My daughter is getting just old enough that she’s asking about going skiing or snowboarding. She has a few friends who have done it, and she’s eager to try it for herself. I thought that we might make it a family-friendly activity this year. We’ll get her into a class, and then we can all go together. And there’s always sledding. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been sweatier than when I spend an hour dragging a child in a sled up a steep hill. Now that is an outdoor workout.

Winter is barely almost here, and a part of me is already longing for spring. Not yet–I need to wait and savor it. Even if I’m not as big of a fan of the cold weather as I was when I was a kid, my kids are. Taking advantage of the cold and snow to keep in shape will prevent the worst of the winter weight gain, and make me look all the better when the weather finally warms up.

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