Whether you’re a cancer survivor or someone looking to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to stay focused on your fitness all year round. But finding the motivation to exercise can be difficult during the cold winter months. Lower temperatures and darker days make it harder to maintain the exercise routines you typically follow during the rest of the year. Going for a walk or run isn’t as enjoyable in chilly winds or icy conditions.
The good news is that there are several ways to keep your body moving in the winter without having to endure chilly temps outdoors. No matter what activities you enjoy most, you can find indoor alternatives that can help you maintain your exercise routines. Most of them you can do in the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking for a few creative ways to increase your heart rate or improve your strength without having to get outside, here are four indoor exercise ideas that you can consider:
Yoga is one of the most accessible and enjoyable forms of exercise. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, yoga reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue and improves strength and flexibility. There are also numerous benefits that yoga provides for cancer survivors looking to regain strength and stability after treatment. It’s also an ideal indoor cross-training activity for more cardio-intense activities. You can find numerous free training videos online that will guide you through a routine.
Core Training & Bodyweight Exercises
Regaining strength and stability in your core is a foundational goal for cancer survivors, but it’s also a great area of focus for every person who wants to feel healthier. Not only do core exercises help you condition your body, but they also improve balance and increase flexibility.
You don’t need to go to the gym or lift weights in order to gain strength. Many times, all you need is the resistance of your own body weight to improve strength and endurance. Squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, and planks all use your own body to build muscle, and those are only to name a few. There are numerous exercise options you can choose to do when it comes to bodyweight workouts. When you’re ready for the next level, you can add a few pounds of weight with simple household items like canned goods or books.
One positive outcome of the pandemic was the proliferation of virtual options for in-home fitness. You can find yoga classes through the free app Do Yoga With Me. Strength training or cardio fans may enjoy Nike’s free Training Club app. Find the personal training that fits your needs through Future. If you’re looking for a simple place to start, the free J&J 7 Minute Workout app builds quick workout routines to get you going. All you need is access to a smart device, and virtual fitness possibilities are almost endless.
Who said indoor exercises had to be boring? Dancing is a whole-body workout that’s actually fun. It’s good for your heart, it makes you stronger, and it can help with balance and coordination. Numerous studies have also found that dancing is a great way to improve fatigue, body image, self-efficacy, and functional exercise capacity for cancer survivors. If you’re looking for a more structured workout, consider joining a dance class at a local fitness center. If you prefer more spontaneous or informal routines, put together a 15-20 mix of your favorite tunes and cut loose with a friend or spouse in your living room.
Tips for Success
There are numerous ways to get exercise during the cold winter months. The key is to keep at it and find ways to stay motivated. Every little bit adds up, and doing something is better than doing nothing. Here are a few helpful tips, especially if you’re a cancer survivor who is getting back into the routine of working out:
- Talk with your healthcare provider about good activities to try.
- Start by doing what you can, and then look for ways to level up as needed.
- Find an activity you enjoy that fits into your lifestyle.
- Find a time to exercise that works best for you.
- Be active with your family or family. Incorporate fun workouts with a friend or family member, or find a support network that can help you keep up with your exercise program.
- Measure your progress without a scale.
Providing Post-Treatment Wellness Guidance
Survivor Fitness was designed to support cancer patients after treatment through one-on-one personal training and nutritional support. By partnering with local trainers and fitness centers, we have access to indoor training facilities year-round.