Any time fitness and exercise is discussed in the winter months, talk mainly centers on the plethora of people who begin joining various gyms, health clubs or start working out at home with their favorite DVD.
But what if wintertime fitness didn't have to be so traditional? What if you could ditch the indoor treadmill and elliptical and say so long to weights, CrossFit or any sort of machine?
Seems a little odd, right? You would assume that anything fitness related during months that include snow, sleep, freezing rain and ice would have to be done in the friendly confines of four enclosed walls and a roof.
Those who view fitness as more applicable of an activity aren't afraid to ask their weight loss goals or visions of a slimmer self to step outside. This fight isn't about bad mouthing or roughing up those who exercise in a gym or at home but rather offer a radical approach to getting healthier and heating up a boring routine when it is freezing outside.
How exactly do you work out outside?
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Simple. The outdoor cold isn't all bad, particularly if you enjoy cardio. There's plenty of athletic gear from the likes of Nike and Under Armour to bundle up accordingly yet still have the wherewithal to exercise outside. When you think of cardio, however, you can certainly take your chances with running through the snow (watch out for the ice, of course), but have you thought about having fun with losing calories?
How about sled riding, playing in the snow or, for practical purposes, chopping a little wood to get that at home fireplace nice, warm and cozy for a single digit temperature evening at home? If you're not interested in running or going too fast, put on a pair of your favorite boots and just take a walk. Walking burns calories for certain but pushing through a little snow adds even more to your workout.
As for the weight training, nothing lends itself to a full body, muscle building workout quite like shoveling snow. Just a few hours of transferring snow from your driveway or walkway to some place out of the way not only is a wonderful cardio activity but strengthens your back, biceps, shoulders and triceps with one activity versus four separate days of hitting all those muscles at the gym.
Of course, being outdoors in any form or fashion comes with it dealing with the cold. But mentally preparing yourself for the frigid temperatures. Once you resign yourself that you'll be cold, you can actually warm up to the idea of exercising outdoors.
And, in the process, enjoy it.
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