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In just a few short weeks, the holidays will be over and New Year’s resolutions will have people flooding into the gyms and eschewing sugar. For a short while. Most of us know reasons why our resolutions fizzle out not long after the champagne celebrations and the Times Square ball drop. One, we’ve overloaded ourselves with drastic changes and, two, we didn’t even give ourselves a stretch or running start. Hopefully we will inspire you to start now with bringing exercise into winter.
What do you like to, not should, do? What forms of physical activity do you enjoy engaging in that get you into a state of flow or make you feel the best?
Think back to toys, games, sports and activities you enjoyed in your youth. Did you enjoy softball, kickball, soccer or tennis? There are teams and leagues for those activities in most towns.
What about swimming, street hockey, playing tag, or spending hours bicycling on your own or with friends? There are elements of each activity you enjoyed that can be brought back into your present state.
For example, ballet as a youth might have turned into dancing at clubs or bars and now could further morph into salsa, ballroom, or even Irish dancing.
Flying solo? It’s adventure time! Perhaps you loved ‘field day’ at school; you may not find it fun to potato sack race by yourself, but that’s what Meetup groups are for! You can find others who enjoy the same activities you do, like hiking combined with mushroom hunting, even if they are relatively obscure.
If you enjoyed martial arts when you were younger, you might enjoy taking it back up and going to classes at a studio, or you might want to consider practicing punches on a boxing bag.
These should all be easier to obtain after the buying sprees of 2020, thankfully. Check out your local buy/sell/trade groups or even Ebay for some secondhand equipment. If you want brand-new, consider what you truly need and where to start.
For example, since we aren’t traveling to our Pilates and barre classes during potentially hazardous weather, we have obtained the bands, ball, and mat needed to do the activity.
Like biking? We’ve put our bike on this stand for the third year in a row and have it set up in front of a TV so we can run YouTube videos and pretend we are riding through Europe. Do what you need to do to make life fun and get the exercise done.
Yoga is probably one of the most accessible, least equipment-heavy activities. A simple mat, a YouTube video (we like Yoga with Adriene), and maybe a cute bunny or two is all we need.
Ready to walk around with better posture and stronger bones and muscles? Look into equipment like the ones we use in our home gym area: free weights (2lb, 5lb, and 10lb) and these adjustable free weights, a medicine ball, more resistance bands/cords and this beastly Power Tower.
Want more fun? If your ceilings are high enough and you have good balance, consider an indoor mini-trampoline (it’s on our wish list from Santa this year too :)).
If you have a partner, kids, or friends who will play, a ping pong table is pretty great.
A gym might be the place to join when you are looking to swim indoors or to lift a number of heavy weights and don’t want to fill your basement with stuff that will gather dust.
Outdoor protection and gear
Protect your core temperature (no pun intended) with an insulating shirt for cold weather. We’ve had this one for over a decade and it fulfills the duty for which it was intended. This is the men’s version.
If you want a soft, warm hat that shows you have a sense of humor about winter, our sister site CraftyBeavers is the place to go.
Ice and snow grips are worth having for your shoes, especially if you plan to walk or run during the winter months; this is the one we have. It has saved us from falling and injury; well worth the monetary exchange.
If you want to be able to pause or play a podcast on your phone, try these mittens that open into fingerless gloves so that your entire hand doesn’t freeze.
Need extra warmth? Call upon the trusty air-activated hand warmers or some rechargeable ones.
Remember sunscreen! Just because it’s cold and cloudy doesn’t mean we can’t have our skin damaged by the sun’s invisible radiation rays.
Or, try a thermal fleece breathable balaclava or ski mask which will help protect your skin from UV rays and the cold.
As you can see here, there are plenty of options to keep our hearts and bodies healthy! Keep in mind that you can slowly build up your equipment. Just start with picking one or two items that will help you achieve your goals.
Winter is not the enemy of our exercise, we just have to adjust to the season. A truism the Nordic people like to share is “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Now that you have an idea of the most suitable type of exercise for you as well as the equipment required to perform the activity and protect yourself from the elements, you’re ready – half the battle has been won! Start now; don’t wait for January 1st.