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Keeping up with your workouts during the winter months is never easy, even if you’re the most devoted of athletes. But, according to Coordinated Health sports performance coach Steve Hultgren, it’s important to keep up with your routine—even when your couch and a big bowl of popcorn are calling your name.
“Exercise throughout the year is important, but exercising during the winter months is especially important because it boosts serotonin, which can help reduce depression and anxiety, both of which are common during the winter months,” says Hultgren.
In addition, studies have shown that regular exercise can boost your immune system during the winter by improving both lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation. However, the effects on your immune system from exercise are short lived, so it’s important to exercise regularly. In fact, just a 20- 30-minute walk will do the trick!
Try these easy exercises to amp up your daily walk to run:
If you shiver at the thought of heading out to your car to go to the gym, have no fear. Hultgren stresses that you don’t need to go to the gym in order to get a good workout. “You can get a good workout in your own home. Concentrate of things like squats and lunges, along with planks for strengthening your muscles. For aerobic activity, choose jumping jacks and even jump rope,” he says.
Keep your body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed with your chin up. Keep your core tight. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Repeat on the other side.
Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out. Place your feet shoulder with apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands in front of you to help your balance. Sit back and down as if you were sitting in a chair. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Keeping your body tight, push through your heels to bring yourself back to starting position. Repeat.
Start by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms and hands. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. Hold this position for at least 10-15 seconds.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place your feet under something that will not move, like the edge of your couch. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you, perpendicular to your torso, with your hands clasped. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor. Hold that pose for a second and then move back to the starting position. Next move to the opposite side while performing the same technique. Repeat as desired.