Exercise when winter weather keeps you in

For The HeraldNovember 28, 2012 

I like exercising outside, so I have a hard time exercising in the winter. Any ideas? – “Outdoor exerciser”

Dear “Outdoor exerciser:”

Exercising outside is such a great mood lifter. You get those endorphins flowing and nice fresh air all at the same time. Exercising in the winter can be more difficult for some, but with a little creativity you can have fun while exercising indoors.

For many, dancing is great way to exercise. You can try an exercise-based dance class such as zumba or hip hop at your local gyms or try dance aerobics DVDs at home. The styles of aerobic dance DVDs available are endless. You can do anything from aerobic line dance, hip hop, jazz, ballet, ballroom, African, Latin, belly dancing, Broadway, and even pole dancing.

Another dancing alternative is taking dance lessons at a non-exercise based dance studio. Although exercise is not the focus, you will get a great workout while learning salsa, shag, or ballroom.

You can even make exercise a game by trying a dance video game such as Kinect Dance Central or Wii Just Dance games.

Because you like outdoor activities, you may enjoy Kinect Adventures or Wii Active Life Outdoor Challenge. You can virtually race canoes, go skiing, rafting, play tennis, or do obstacle courses while being inside. These interactive moving games will get you sweating while having fun, and you can pretend you are outdoors. Compete with your friends for even more entertainment.

If virtual sports are not your thing, participate in indoor sports such as indoor ultimate Frisbee at our local YMCA. Many gyms offer indoor basketball courts, indoor walking/running tracks, racquetball courts and indoor pools for swimming laps.

Although outdoor activities are limited in the winter, you can still find plenty of ways to exercise. I hope you can find one from this list that will work from you.

Lacy Ngo is a licensed dietitian and nutrition instructor at Winthrop University. Contact her at lacyngo@yahoo.com

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