It’s Okay if You Don’t Like the Cold Weather
I never saw snow for the first 20 years of my life. In Ghana, it's basically summer all year long. That means one thing: I don't really enjoy the cold weather. Those who still live in Ghana and have never traveled outside of the country will never see snow. This makes seeing the snow for the first time a fun experience, but we quickly realize our bodies are not used to such freezing temperatures.
I know how important it is to go outside every day to get sunlight or take a walk, but if you dislike the cold weather or aren’t used to it, going outside can be a struggle. During the summer months, these things are very easy to do, but in the winter months, it’s a whole other story. Being stuck at home is hard (unless you're an introvert then it's great) but not being able to go out to exercise can make you feel you aren't doing enough.
Exercise has many benefits for the physical, mental, and emotional bodies including reducing stress levels, boosting your immune system, and making you feel and look good, but exercise doesn’t have to take the form of traditional exercise for it to be effective.
In these tough and cold times, I've come up with some creative ways for you to get moving and active at home. Here’s are ways to stay active on days you don't want to go outside and get your toes frozen.
Walking indoors? Yes. Why not? Walking is walking no matter where you do it. After sitting to write for hours, I get up and walk back and forth in my apartment. If you work from home, you can walk during calls. This is not like the olden days where you need to be seated for meetings. You can now use your call time to work towards those 10,000 steps daily.
If you have a treadmill at home, then problem solved. If not, you can still run. You might be questioning how effective it can be without a treadmill, but it is totally possible. If running on a treadmill makes sense to you, even though you stay at one place and go nowhere, then it can be done without one. I've tried it. It works. Simply find a non-slippery spot in your home and jog.
You don’t need a $2,000 Peloton bike (although that'd be nice) or a gym membership to do simple exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, lunges, high knees, planks, or squats. There are a variety of routines you can find online and on YouTube. All you need to do is say “Home work-outs on YouTube” into your voice remote and you can choose from thousands of workouts to do from the comfort of your own home.
It’s been said that we must stretch our bodies daily. Stretching is a great way to keep your body feeling good and young. If you’re hunched over a computer for hours on end each day, then you must stretch your body at the end of the day. Incorporating some simple stretches into your morning and nighttime routines can help you avoid stiff muscles and improve flexibility. Here’s my favorite 30 minute stretching exercise on YouTube.
Yoga is not only good for your physical health, but it can also improve sleep, emotional, and spiritual health too. It’s a great way to clear your mind and connect with your body. It also does a great job reducing stress levels. It can relieve lower back and neck pain while managing anxiety and depressive symptoms associated with the cold winter months. You don’t need to leave the house or pay to do yoga. All you need to do is search on YouTube and there will be thousands of free videos to choose from.
You are now thinking I’m insane, aren’t you? But why the hell not? Jumping is jumping no matter where you jump. Try it. It works the same as doing it outside. Just remember to jump lightly, for the sake of your downstairs neighbors.
This is my favorite thing to do to stay active at home. Dancing is an effective way to exercise, and it can burn just as many calories as walking. The number of calories you burn will depend on the intensity, the length, and the energy you pour into the dance. All you need to do is put on your favorite tune and have a living room dance party. And the best thing is that if you have kids, they will have a great time and it will tire them out for a good night's sleep!
Get it on
In other words, sex! What is a better way to get into shape than to really enjoy yourself doing it? When you’re stuck at home with your boo, sex can be a great way to burn calories and work up a sweat. Not only is sex a great workout, but it can also help relieve stress, get rid of annoying headaches, and help you sleep like a baby.
You are probably thinking cleaning is not a form of exercise, but it is. Any physical movement counts as exercise and has health benefits. This includes activities like mopping your floors, moving furniture around, or organizing your storage closet. Cleaning your house is a double win because having a clean space can help with your mental health. Taking out the trash, doing the laundry, or fixing things around the house can all add up to a good amount of physical activity.
Getting sunlight in the wintertime is super important, and you are probably thinking how? Sunlight comes in through windows. Luckily for me, my apartment gets plenty of sunlight, so I’m always on the lookout for Mr. Sun. Wherever the sun is shining through is where I sit to write, meditate, eat, listen to music, or whatever I feel like doing.
Yes, baby, it's cold outside, but that's no excuse to stay home and turn into a potato. We’re all in our homes a bit more these days, which makes it easy to fall into a more relaxed and inactive lifestyle. To avoid the negative effects of becoming too inactive, it’s important to move your body daily.
It's okay to not be a fan of winter, but you can't hide in your apartment all winter long. Every now and then, you must get out there in nature and enjoy the beauty of the cold. Because, as they say, there’s beauty in everything.