I prefer to work out outdoors, but even I have a finite resistance to nature. Here in the northern hemisphere, more specifically in central Europe, the temperature has dropped considerably over the last weeks. I don’t have a big problem with the cold, I just wear warmer clothes. But when I leave work it is dark outside, as it is when I go to work in the morning. This really reduces my enthusiasm to go outside to pull on those iron bars.
I’m a huge fan of working out outside for various reasons: I get to spend more time in the fresh air; I can exercise when I like, independent of opening hours; and I have a wide array of sports and exercises I can do.
Because I work during the week, that leaves only the weekends when I can work out outside during the day.
So what are the alternatives?
Working out in a gym or at home
I go to a local gym once a week. Fortunately, I don’t have to pay for it, because I train a group of young refugees, so the location is provided for. This lets me work out even in the cold and dark winter hours after work. Most exercises involving your body weight can be done inside as well as outside, but I use the opportunity to work on areas in which I have developed shortcomings isolated from other muscles.
Working out at home has the big advantage that it saves time that you would usually spend commuting to the gym. Short workouts (10-20 minutes) can then easily be fitted in after work.
Things that I usually don’t usually find the extra time for
Find an indoor sport to play during winter. My choice is badminton, which I play with a couple of friends every other week. This is something I probably wouldn’t find the time for in summer, but it is a good alternative to a sedentary office lifestyle. As a bonus, the place where we play badminton has a free sauna.
This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I’ve been working out for ten years now, but have almost never had a professional check my posture or imbalances in the symmetry of my muscles and skeleton. Nobody has a perfect physique, of course, but it is often easy to overlook an incorrect posture while working out. Such imbalances can grow into real problems and reduce the effectiveness of the workout. I address problems pointed out to me with short, ten minute exercises that focus on a single imbalance.
Yoga is an excellent addition to a normal workout. It lets you get to know your body better and listen to its needs. It enhances flexibility and mobility, and is especially useful to improve your balance.
Yoga helps you escape daily stresses, lets you sit down and relax for once. It brings back together the body and the soul.
Going for walks
It doesn’t always have to be a full workout. Shift down a gear, go for a walk and breathe in the cold fresh winter air. If you happen to live in the southern hemisphere, warm air is also relaxing. 🙂
One step further would be to come to a complete stop. Get some long-forgotten time in bed and a restful sleep. As I have mentioned before, training is not all about working out but also finding the time for the body to rest.
Contemplate the achievements of this year and develop new goals for next year.
Do some reading to extend your knowledge about your workout (lots of good examples in this blog) to be better prepared for the next season. Have a look at the exercises you can do anywhere.
Universities usually offer a wide catalog of sports that even non-students can try. Ask at your local sports club whether you can try any of the sports they offer. There should be something fun for everybody.
There is an endless list of sports and activities that are perfect for the winter season.
Here are some examples:
- Ice skating
- Indoor tennis
- Ping pong
- Indoor football