10 January, 2018
Winter brings with it a lazy feeling. The sun hides and the darkness and cold outside, makes us want to just curl up in bed. The weather being cold and gloomy affects the moods and morale of people of all ages. It is tough to get kids out of bed in winter and get them to school on time. Also, kids may fall sick too. For elders, there are more serious worries. Health issues are very common, and certain illnesses like arthritis or asthma may take a turn for the worse. For the seniors, the winter may well put paid to many of their activities like the evening walks, group exercises, etc. Winter is definitely one of those times when almost all people give up on their exercise.
But this is also the time when the immunity of the body goes down badly. Apart from eating good, hot and nutritious food, it is important to maintain a level of fitness and boost one's immunity. Falling sick in winter can become terrible. It is important to exercise indoors so as to maintain the cardio levels and regulate the blood pressure.
There are many simple indoor exercises that can be done on a daily basis to maintain the basic fitness through the winter. One of the best things would be to do Yoga if you are not doing that already. Yoga helps to keep your body warm and your muscles from stiffening up. It also flexes your joints and helps alleviate the winter joint pains. Simple exercises like breathing exercises like the Pranayam, regular warm-up exercises, Surya Namaskar etc. Yoga also helps to keep many winter infections at bay. Perhaps it’s also good to end your yoga session with meditation as that helps to keep the mind calm and healthy, despite the gloomy weather. Have you tried the new trend - chair yoga?
While it may not be possible to take walks outside, it is possible to take walks inside the house. It need not be that the walk should be taken in one stretch; every now and then, you may take a small walk to fetch something or so. If you have a slightly long corridor or hall, you may even walk back and forth a couple of times for your daily dose of activity.
If you know swimming and have no specific medical conditions forbidding you to do it, then this is a very good form of exercise for winter. You may have an indoor swimming pool in your community or complex, or find one in the neighbourhood. Most pools will maintain the water temperatures to ensure that you stay warm.
Aerobics is another form of exercise that can be easily done indoors. Just put on some music that agrees with you and shake your hand and legs and have fun. You could actually invite over your regular buddies to join in this and make it a group activity. It will also cater to your socializing needs and aerobics is great for brain health.
Try the stairs
Most houses and apartment complexes will have stairs. Climbing up and down the stairs a few times is a good workout for your body. Just try not to overdo it, and avoid this if you have been told to do so by the doctor.
If you are more or less fit, you may also tie up with a gym for the winter and consider taking some regular gym exercises that suit your age and body needs. If you are happy with it, you may even continue with the gym beyond the winter.
The other option is to have your own home gym if you can afford it and have a treadmill or a stationary bike that can be used regularly and not just in winter. Having it right there at home is a great incentive to just hop on. Place it in front of the TV and enjoy your favourite shows too!
Care should be taken not to overdo any of the exercises during the winter. Also, it is always better to have a discussion with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime, especially if you are under any medication.
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