I love walking. I love being out at Rundle Park all year round. In the summer I think Caboto Park is one of my favourite spots as well. Let’s face it, Edmonton has a lot to offer!
Winters are a little different though, While I still get bundled up to get my steps in a few times a week, I’m more likely to find other ways to get some exercise during the winter. This year seems a little more difficult than normal too, thanks to COVID; it’s harder to hit the gym or take a group class. That’s why we thought we’d share some of our favourite exercises to do in the winter.
H.I.I.T. WORKOUTS AT HOME
If you’re looking for a great sweat, High Intensity Interval Training will bring it. These workouts are great because they can be quick, often 20 minutes. You can also get away with little to no equipment. You’ll mostly be using your body weight, perhaps some dumbbells or exercise bands.
H.I.I.T. is great for increasing your heart rate, and tapping into the glycogen stores in your muscles. That means your metabolism will keep pumping long after your workout, burning more calories through out the day. You want your heartrate to reach atleast 80% of its maximum capacity for one to five minutes, then you take a break (usually 30 seconds) before doing it again. Exercises that you can incorporate into your bursts of activity include jumping jacks, burpees, sumo squats, running, pushups, etc. There are a ton of H.I.I.T. workouts online and through fitness apps that will help get you started.
CHANGE THINGS UP WITH YOGA
Yoga is an awesome physical workout, but some of the best benefits are actually mental and emotional. Including yoga in your exercise routine once or twice a week has been shown to boost cognitive function and emotional wellness. Yoga can also decrease your cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
If you’re an athlete, yoga is recommended because it can improve flexibility, endurance and strength; helping you improve your overall performance. If you’re new to working out, or to yoga in particular, you’ll receive all the same physical and emotional benefits, and you’re able to move at your own pace. The most important thing to remember is your yoga practice is about you.
BUILD STRENGTH WITH PILATES
If you want to increase your flexibility and really define your core, then you should definitely fit a pilates workout in, atleast once a week. The nice thing about pilates is that most of the moves can be modified for any fitness level. You don’t need a pilates machine either to get the full benefits of a workout. You’ll be able to find plenty of pilates videos online to guide you through.
TURN UP THE VOLUME AND DANCE
Sometimes, when I don’t feel like working out, I dance it out instead. The key to this exercise is to let go of all concerns and self conscienciousness and dance like no one is watching… that’s why I often do this when home alone. It may not seem like a workout, but if you’re breaking a sweat, then it definitely counts as cardio. Dancing can burn up to 300 calories in half an hour.
KEEP IT UP
This is just the start of great exercises to do in the winter. Despite needing to get bundled up, I do recommend including some outdoor activities into your week. We talked about walking earlier, cross country skiing is also great. There are several spots near Edmonton where you can go skating, snowshoeing and more. Of course on those days where you just don’t want to go out side, we have some more suggestions for great workouts you can do at home.