Long cold winters are generally not just a gloomy time, but also quite “exercise-inhibiting”. When the sun takes as long to rise as it does so quickly sets, the last thing many people want to do this time of year is head out for a run in sub-zero temperatures or head to the gym, when staying at home in a warm and snuggly bed is the other option.
Here are a few home exercises that might wake you up from your mid-winter slumber, and even set you up for a fitter and more enjoyable ski holiday:
1. Jump Rope
The jump rope is a powerful workout tool. It builds cardio fitness, balance, agility and bone strength. Plus, you don’t even have to do it outside in the bitter cold!
2min two-foot hops, with 30s rest intervals x 5 reps.
As you get better at it with each passing day, try increasing your skipping time by 30s, or decreasing your rest interval.
2. Side Plank
The side plank improves spinal stability, as well as upper-body and core strength, with an emphasis on the external obliques. The exercise also increases balance throughout the body.
1min holds on each side, with 30s rest intervals in between.
As you find it easier as the week progress, increase your holds by 30s. Further down the line, progress this exercise to side crunches to challenge yourself even more.
3. Walking Lunges
A classic one you can do along your corridor, walking lunges are great for the lower body—like glutes and calves—and they can help correct imbalances. Most of us have one stronger side, and lunges can help balance it out as one leg is doing the work at one time. This is also beneficial for to help you keep your balance when you do go snowboarding or skiing!
Walking lunges along any corridors or spaces in your home or office, back and forth, for about 5-7mins.
As you get better, try incorporating 10 push-ups after every two laps into this workout.
4. Wall Sit Exercise
This is an exercise that is as fundamentally basic in movement as it gets, yet has a plethora of benefits in terms of working your thigh, hip, calve and core muscles.
Find a wall and start off with 30s holds, do 6-8 reps of this and you’ll feel the burn!
As you progress, increase your holds by 15s.
5. Body weight squats
Quadricepses are probably the most used muscle group in skiing. These muscles hold you in position as you ski and provide protection for your knees. For those who don’t already squat in the gym, body-weight squats at home will strengthen up your quads and set you up for more skiing, less falling.
Start off with 10 squats x 10, with 30s intervals in between.
Too easy? Challenge yourself by increasing the number of squats you do.
When you finish all the exercises listed above, I’m sure that you will have a healthy and fit winter holiday.