Share This Page

An insider's guide to winter exercise

| Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

So, you resolved to lose weight, get stronger or maybe just fit in those recommended 30 minutes of daily activity. But freezing temperatures, slushy sidewalks and slippery roads add up to a strong urge to stay indoors. Is it possible to stay on track while enjoying the warmth and comfort of your home? Here are a few ideas:

Make commercial breaks count. It's tempting to sit down in front of the TV when you get home. Who says you can't watch your favorite show while getting a workout? Put together a circuit workout of simple strength exercises: squats, push-ups, sit-ups, etc., and make it a commitment every commercial break to knock out a circuit. Choose a number of repetitions that's comfortable for you (five to 10) and see how many sets you can do in a commercial break. A 30-minute show will probably have less than 10 minutes of commercials, so keep the intensity up.

Cardio doesn't have to mean running: Your cardio routine at the gym might be limited to the treadmill or elliptical machine, but there are more ways to give your heart a workout. Think of cardio in terms of heart-rate zones. Regardless of the activity, if the intensity is high enough, you're working your heart, too. Combine strength exercises (planks, push-ups, dips, crunches) and more traditional cardio exercises such as jumping jacks or running in place.

Get creative: Most people don't keep barbells at home. So if you want to add resistance training to your workout, you might have to think outside the box. A gallon of milk weighs about 8 pounds. A can of soup? About a pound. What other strength-training tools do you have lying around the house?

Practice your I's, T's and Y's. After sitting all day at work, this exercise can help fix that hunched posture while strengthening your shoulders: Lie on your back, starting with your arms by your sides. Then use your arms to make the letters I, T and Y (sort of like the “YMCA” dance). The American Council on Exercise recommends holding each position for 15 to 30 seconds and performing two to four cycles. It's another good one for a commercial break.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.