I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s just so hard to get off the couch in the winter and be active. It’s so cozy and warm inside… all the best shows are aired in the winter and a nice hot chocolatey pudding is the best comfort for a wintery night. But a long lazy winter means you basically have to start all over again as summer nears. And when you’ve worked so hard to improve your fitness in that warm summer air, you don’t want to lose it!
But “I’ve got kids” you say… “there’s no time, it’s too cold for them”… Well I hear you…Yes you’ve made an understandable excuse, but I’ve got all these bases covered. Here are five different ways I keep myself fit and active over winter
1.) Stroller walks
When my boys were two and four, I would bundle them up in their snowsuits, put that plastic clear raincover over the stroller and walk! That plastic cover is such a lifesaver. In fact, I often had to take clothes off them because it kept the cold wind out and all their warm body heat circulating. As for me, when the temperature was at freezing, I found thermal pants with my running tights layered over the best way to keep warm. Of course, gloves, scarf and a good ski jacket helped too. My kids were happy for me to walk up to an hour and I would happily get out a few times a week. Lunchtime seemed to be the best time of day, as it was also the warmest. You can feed them on the way when you make it past your milestones (the church, the big tree, over the bridge…)
2.) Online Programmes at Home
I love working out at home because I have no one to help with my children, and there is no commute time to get anywhere. There are many online programmes and apps these days that do not require much, if any equipment. And the best thing is there are so many workouts that take 20 minutes, which is about 2 episodes of Paw Patrol. So you can’t tell me that you couldn’t even fit that in.
My two favs are:
Nike+ App – Free
You can select your level, what equipment you have at home and duration and the app will filter you a selection. When I first got back into exercising after my baby, this was great as there was such variety, I never got bored. Download it and give it a go!
Kate Ivey Fitness – from $5USD per week
I’m currently using Kate’s programme and I love it! Her base level DediKate programme gives you a weights based programme each week, 2 x 20 min power sessions, a low intensity programme, as well as access to running and speed workouts, nutrition help and recipes and much more. She also has live workouts which I’ve found super motivating. She has 3 kids of her own so knows how to pack a lot in a short session. You can try her programme free for 2 weeks here https://kateiveyfitness.co.nz/
No that doesn’t meaning eating snacks. Basically, you don’t have to organize a full on fitness workout to keep your body moving. Just do small “snacks” of it throughout the day
- A wall sit while the kids brush their teeth
- Squats during the ad breaks of PJ Masks
- 20 pressups to race your kids to get their pajamas on before bed. My kids love a competition!
- A prone hold while you wait for the kettle to boil or the microwave
I often choose two exercises a day, and see how many times I can do them throughout the day. You would be surprised how often you get just a minute, and now you are putting it to good use.
4.) Indoor Activities
Don’t you find that indoor public pools are way too hot in the summer? Well now when you walk indoors, that hot, humid air is particularly inviting. If your children are older, then try a few lengths while they are swimming. For younger ones you pop them on a board and kick them down the pool or even just chasing them around somedays is active enough. If you’re lucky, some pools even have creche facilities, so you can really get a proper workout done.
I love the gym in the winter, because there are just some weeks, when it just doesn’t stop raining and I really lack the motivation to get outside in the cold. So the gym is great. It’s warm, there are lots of activities you can do and you can even jump into a class. If there’s a creche, you know you can workout and they are just next door. Or you could try an evening session or ask a friend to help for an hour (then return the favour).
5.) Winter Hiking
One of the best things about exercise is that it really gets your heart pumping. Which means what? It keeps you warm. So even when it IS cold out, a winter hike is not always out of the question. With proper clothing, an uphill hike can be the perfect winter activity. Not only are the trails less crowded, you can be rewarded with some of the most beautiful snowy views which just top of the experience. If you have young kids, just pop them in a backpack or carrier – with the added bonus that their body warmth will keep YOU warm too!
Whatever you do, your body and your mind will thank you for it this winter. You’ve heard of endorphins right? They are basically your natural happy pills that improve your mood and make you feel good when you exercise. It’s why the crazy people keeping doing those silly things like run marathons (haha.. I did that.. once!) Those endorphins are addictive and I highly recommend you grab yourself a dose this winter.
Jen has always been passionate about getting outside and active, although things have changed since she became a mum. No longer is it long runs and competitive games of netball, its small intense bursts of exercise and hikes and bikes with the family. No matter what it is, its all about fresh air, endorphins and three crazy munchkins.
If you’re wondering why she uses the word “mum”, its because she hails from New Zealand. When she’s not trying to fit in a bit of exercise in, she just loves to explore her beautiful country and have lunch with the hobbits (just kidding). If you’d like to see more about Jen and the outdoors you can follow her @backyardtravelfamily on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. You will also find many active adventures in New Zealand at www.backyardtravelfamily.com