New Year's resolutions are starting to lose the luster of being new and exciting, which means exercise is beginning to feel more like a routine again. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions closing many gyms and limiting our exercise options, it can be easy to get tired of your routine quickly. If your exercise routine has been falling flat lately, here are a few ways to get moving and have fun while doing it.
Take a Hike
Hiking is a great form of exercise, and you also can get out and see nature while you're exercising. Hiking can be gentle or rigorous depending on the trail you take, which makes it great for people of every fitness level. If you're new to fitness, make sure to start with easier trails and work up to more treacherous ones, especially during the winter. Considering the fact that the U.S. spends three times as much on healthcare as any other country in the world, you wouldn't be alone if you had an accident that needed medical attention, but it's preferable to just stay healthy.
Go For a Run
The winter is the perfect time to start running. In warmer months, you'll have to worry about overheating without a way of cooling down, but in the winter, you just have to shed some layers to make yourself cooler during a run. If you're new to running, consider following a couch to 5k program, which will start you with walking and running intervals and have you running 3.1 miles by the end of it.
Sledding is one of the more fun ways to get moving during the winter. Even if you don't have any kids, heading out with the other adults in your quarantine bubble can be a lot of fun. Although you'll be gliding down the hills, you'll have to walk back up them carrying whatever you're sledding on, which is a great workout. Make sure to bundle up appropriately by wearing a warm coat, gloves, a hat, and a scarf (which can also be used as a mouth covering if there are other people around).
If the snow gets really thick in your area, consider trying out snowshoeing. This is a great alternative to hiking if hiking isn't possible due to the depth of the snow. Make sure that you properly bundle up and wear the right kind of shoes to attach to the snowshoes. Walking in snowshoes may take some getting used to, so make sure that you take the time to adjust to walking with them before you decide whether or not you enjoy snowshoeing.
Go For a Swim
If where you live doesn't get cold in the winter, outdoor swimming can be a year-round form of exercise. Swimming is a great workout because it targets gets in both a cardio workout and a strength workout. Maybe that's why swimming is in the top five most popular sports in the U.S.
If you live in a warm area that hasn't been as impacted by the coronavirus, there may even be pools open for recreational use. If this is the case, make sure that you're following all of the precautions that your area has laid out. Otherwise, you may have to wait until it's warmer out to go swimming.
Workout “With” a Buddy
Although we can't be needlessly socializing right now because of the pandemic, we can still have accountability partners and workout buddies. Instead of meeting up at the gym and going through a workout together, you can use video calls to be together without the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Considering the fact that 60% of millennials believe technology will make in-person interactions unnecessary, you're just ahead of the curve.
Try a Bodyweight Workout
If you've been doing a lot of cardio-based workouts and you're looking to transition into some strength training, consider trying out some bodyweight strength workouts. Although you won't be getting as “shredded” as you might with weights, you'll still get in a good workout and feel the burn. There are lots of free videos with bodyweight exercises available on YouTube, so you can try out different instructors and find someone that you really enjoy taking “classes” from.
Work With Resistance Bands
If you already do a lot of bodyweight strength-based workouts, and you're getting a little sick of it, a great way to amp up the difficulty of your workouts is with resistance bands. A pack of resistance bands is relatively inexpensive, and you can buy them online at Amazon or Target. Just like with bodyweight exercises, there are many different free videos online that use resistance bands in them.
Dance It Out
If you know you should be doing more cardio, but the thought of going for a run, bike, or swim is unappealing, dancing is also a great option. Dance workouts have been around for decades, and because of that, there are many different types of dance workouts available online. You can try barre if you want to focus on burning out small muscles and taking a more ballet-centered approach. There are also dance workouts choreographed to popular music, like songs by Billie Eilish or Taylor Swift.
However, if following someone else's routine is not really your speed, you can also try just dancing around on your own. Dancing like crazy for 15-20 minutes will get your heart beating and your blood pumping without the need to follow and specific routine. If you miss live concerts that have all been delayed or canceled because of COVID-19, you can put on live versions of your favorite songs and dance like you're at the live shows.
No matter how you want to get moving in the winter, there is likely a fun way to do it. From going for a hike to burning it out in a barre class, you've got some great pandemic-friendly options.
How are you working out right now? What have you had to change in your routine because of COVID-19? Let us know in the comments below!