Winter is a Great Time for Home Exercises

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There’s only snow and freezing rain outside. It’s also dark, cold and windy.

This makes you want to hibernate at home for the winter and only wake up to the gentle spring.

Fortunately, there are lots to do there during the winter! Here’s my selection of ideas for home winter training:

At home, there are now lots of fitness apps, gadgets, and gear that lets you get the training you want, at the intensity you need. Moov’s bracelet for example can give you an intense boxing training that will make your heart beat. It’s fun, with no impact, and is accessible to anyone. An alternative to boxing is its workout sessions, alternating between squats, pushups and situps. All of the exercises are nicely explained with animations and a voice telling you exactly what to do and also what no to do. I highly recommend the Moov bracelet if you want a cheap and easy way to train, without leaving the comfort of your home.

Feeling stressed? The app Daily Yoga has a wide array of sessions, from pregnant women to runners or office workers. Use an iPad and then follow the video instructions, in a large enough area with carpet. But you can also use it pretty much anywhere. I did a session while on a day-long bus trip to Gaspésie, Canada. You feel refreshed and good inside, and ready to tackle any stress. Like Moov Now, Daily Yoga does have a cost ($75/year) but it’s totally worth it, and it’s perfect to for the winter season.

Those two apps are more than enough to start burning fat. If you want to increase the intensity, I would look at a bike trainer. A nice little startup named Zwift has created a platform where thousands of athletes race against each other in a 3D environment every day. It’s the equivalent of popular multiplayer games like Battlefield or Startcraft, except that instead of clicks and keyboard combos, you actually have to start biking hard. The whole setup is certainly more expensive and tricky than Daily Yoga or the simple Moov bracelet, but it provides fun hours .. and it will totally push your aerobic exercise capacity. I expect many other teams to try out the concept for other sports: running, yoga, team sports. Imagine a mode where you are Bruce Lee and have to fight the bad guys, thanks to VR goggles. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Strength training is also an excellent idea. It increases speed for runners and bikers, protects you against falls, and helps you get rid of the extra weight you got during the holidays. At home, look at the Azumio apps. All I needed was $10 weights from craigslist and another $15 investment for a pull-up bar. I do strength training when I am not running (wednesday, thursday and sunday), or spontaneously when I’ve been sitting for too long!

Those are accessible and fun ideas to get exercise at home during the winter. They also scale with your level, and can accommodate beginners as well as those who are more serious. Now you don’t have any excuse not to get any exercise, even if there’s a snowstorm or freezing rain outside for a week !

Happy training !

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