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Top Five Winter Exercise TipsDownload PDF

By Kerrie Lee Brown as published in Thrive , Winter/Spring 08

Life is busy and we all have things to do. So in order to keep on the right track to fitness during the colder months – you’ve got to make it a priority to adhere to your wellness goals no matter what. After all, the real challenge isn’t necessarily a physical one - it’s mentally finding the time (and strength) to fit it all in. Try these five exercise tips to help beat the Winter workout blues.

1. WALK THIS WAY

Either on your trusty treadmill or on the path, revamp your routine by adding sprints, hills, lunges or kneeups to your regular stroll. Walking at five miles per hour burns as many calories as jogging at the same pace. Step up your routine and you’ll burn close to 300 calories or more in 40 minutes.

2. ADD CIRCUIT TRAINING TO THE MIX

When time is tight, circuit training is the perfect solution. Moving quickly between sets keeps your heart rate up, allowing you to reap the benefits of cardiovascular training while working your muscles. Try a three-day routine rotating workouts for upper body, lower body and cardio.

3. THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION

Want a new way to work the mind, body and soul? Pilates will help you relieve stress, strengthen and lengthen muscles, increase flexibility, balance and coordination, as well as help prevent injury. The new Basic Pilates 2nd Edition DVD from STOTT PILATES® is great for beginners who want to work out at home.

4. GET OUTSIDE TO FEEL GOOD

Add rigorous activity such as ice skating, snowshoeing or hockey to your day. Not only will you work up a sweat despite the colder weather, but you’ll also increase blood flow, strengthen blood vessels and improve circulation. Cardio exercise is good for the heart – and after 15 minutes, exercise triggers a release of feel-good endorphins in the brain.

5. DON'T FORGET TO FUEL UP FOR EXERCISE

To coincide with your exercise regimen, one of the most important things you can do is eat healthy. Four to six small meals a day will help boost your metabolism and you’ll have more energy to get to the gym. Eating protein after your workout – like a protein shake including whey – not only repairs damaged tissues and helps tone muscle, but also replenishes muscle glycogen to keep you energetic for hours to come.