Saturday, February 12, 2011

Exercise to keep away the winter blues

It's certainly been a long, cold winter (seems longer and colder than usual this year)!  Living in NE Ohio, you think I'd be used to it by now, but the fact is, I hate winter.  It's too cold to get outside and walk every day like I usually do in the warmer weather, I can't get out in the garden, and it's just depressing.  I have found that keeping up with my indoor workout routine does help keep my spirits up though.  I don't even have to worry about getting out in the cold to drive to the gym (so there's no excuse to skip a workout or three).  I have everything I need for a huge variety of cardio and strength workouts right here in my own (warm!) home.  I got a new elliptical for Christmas, so that's even more motivation to get moving- I paid for it, I'm certainly not going to let it sit there and collect dust!  Getting a new piece of workout equipment always makes me want to try it out.  Even just a new sports bra gives me incentive to work out.  I've also got dumbells from 2 pounds up to 15 pounds, a 10 pound kettle bell, mini trampoline, BOSU, and a huge variety of workout DVDs.  Mixing it up keeps both your body and mind challenged.  And my new Reebok Easy Tone shoes add a balance challenge to any workout.  After just about a month I'm noticing a definite improvement in my rear view! ;-)  On those days when I just have no motivation I make myself hop on the elliptical for just a few minutes, which usually turns into an hour long workout, just because it really does make me feel good, mentally and physically.  Exercise improves your mood, and I always feel invigorated after a good workout.  Plus, once the warm weather finally does return, I'll be ready to don those shorts and tank tops again.  I've noticed a definite difference in my mood if I skip more than a day of exercise.  I've also noticed that when I work out regularly I don't get sick as often as I do if I skip workouts.  So far I haven't gotten sick once this winter.  Exercise has been proven to improve your immune system (and eating healthy helps as well).  So there are LOTS of excellent reasons to continue working out, ESPECIALLY when it's cold and nasty outside.  And once I can see the sidewalks again I will be back outside, pounding the pavement and soaking up that lovely sunshine!  So if you suffer with the winter blues (and I think most everybody does right about now- LOL), try working out regularly to feel better, mentally and physically.  Check out Self.com, Fitness.com, or Shape.com for all sorts of workouts you can do right in your living room.
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

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