One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to focus on health, whether that means starting a new exercise routine, eating healthier, going for daily walks, taking things easy to de-stress, or a combination of all the above. But let’s face it: time can get the better of us and we find it difficult to keep up. Thankfully, there are quick and easy ways to stay fit and get much needed activity during the winter months, and health and fitness tech can help. With the right mentality, motivation, and tech, can fit these tasks into their schedule.
Short dumbbell curling sessions
Maybe you don’t have time for a full workout, but you can grab a pair of dumbbells and do a few quick arm exercises while you’re doing another passive activity, like watching the morning news or your favourite TV shows at night. Instead of playing around on your phone or sitting idly on the couch, grab some dumbbells and do a few curls. Try to do 10 reps of an exercise three times through, or even three different simple exercises.
You could even pop to the floor and do sit-ups while listening to a favourite music playlist or audiobook. Sometimes, if I don’t have time for a workout, I’ll use commercial breaks during a show (even if it’s recorded and I can skip) to do a few sit-ups or even just run on the spot in front of the couch. It only takes 5-10 minutes of your time, but it’s something worth doing if you don’t have the drive or time for a full 30-minute workout.
Treadmill or under-desk bicycle
If you have the room for a treadmill, they are worth investing in. Even if the weather is frigid outside and the streets are full of snow, you can still get a walk or run in from the comfort of your heated home. With the latest treadmills that have built-in monitors or slots to hold a phone or tablet, you can set up your own scenic route. Or even put on a TV show, news, or a work presentation and watch while you walk or run. Just 10-15 minutes a day can help on your journey to stay fit. If you can multitask while doing it, even better.
If you don’t have room for a full-sized treadmill, there are also foldable walking pads or desk treadmills you can consider. Or simply get an under-desk bicycle and do some revolutions to keep your legs going while you’re on a call, listening to a conference, or reading a report. Every step counts and will get you closer to achieving the recommended daily 10,000 steps to lead a healthier life.
15-minute YouTube workouts and video games
YouTube is a great resource for tons of free workout videos, as are other apps, like Apple Fitness+, Fitbit Premium, or third-party ones like Nike Training Club and OrangeTheory fitness. Look for quick 15-, 10-, or even 5-minute workouts that you can do while you’re waiting for the water to boil for the night’s pasta dinner, before you start the workday, before lunch, or right after putting the kids to bed. They go by quickly but can get your heart rate pumping and make you feel energized. Search “quick workout at home” on YouTube and tons of options pop up.
Make it a family affair and combine exercise with time with the kids using video games that get you up and moving, like Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise or Just Dance, which are available for the major gaming consoles. It’s amazing how much video games like these can get your heart rate going and help you stay fit.
Set reminders to move on a fitness tracker
Virtually every fitness tracker and smartwatch nowadays has a “reminders to move” feature that, when turned on, alerts you via vibrations or an on-screen notification that you have been sedentary for too long and should get up and move. The Apple Watch features goal rings that slowly full up the circumference of a circle, providing solid motivation to “close” your activity ring by getting enough active minutes each day.
It’s recommended for those who work an office job to get up and move at least once per hour. If nothing else, get up, stretch, and walk around the house or the office for 5-10 minutes before sitting back down. Not only is this good to help you stay fit, it can also help alleviate sore joints and muscles.
Go for daily walks, jogs, or short runs
I’m not a runner, and many people don’t like to run. But even a brisk walk can be good for the heart and the health.
Instead, I try to work a 3-4K walk into my routine at least twice a week, whenever I have the time. I pop in a good pair of true wireless earbuds, play some music, and go for a brisk stroll. Even if it’s just walking to the grocery store to grab milk instead of driving or to explore the local trail (yes, even with winter boots in the snow!), it’s worth it. Doing so is good for fitness but will also help you de-stress, unwind, and get fresh (albeit potentially very cold) air. Even a short 10-minute walk is worth committing to each day, or a couple days per week.
Stock the fridge and freezer with healthy food
Stock your refrigerator with healthy fruits, vegetables, and protein to help keep you on better track to stay fit. If it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, this can work to your advantage: wash and package extras and place them in the freezer to use for healthy smoothies. Whenever you feel like a snack, or if you’re rushing out the door, use a personal blender to make a quick smoothie, which will provide the nutrients to give you the energy to tackle the day.
Frozen berries can also be defrosted and eaten with a healthy whipped cream alternative, like coconut cream, yogurt, added to cold cereal and oatmeal, or even added to home-baked goods; while frozen vegetables can be used for healthy, homemade meals.
Do what you can to stay fit
While many will insist you need to dedicate an hour a day to staying fit, if this isn’t a realistic goal, don’t get discouraged. You can still take small steps by doing what you can, when you can. Every bit helps, and if you can exercise a few days a week but have little time the other days, don’t worry about it. Use one of these quick and easy methods to keep the momentum going. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, even after just a quick five-minute exercise, walk, video game session, or protein-packed smoothie. This, in turn, will provide the encouragement to keep going.
Check out a wide range of health and fitness tech from Best Buy Online that can help you stay fit during the winter.