When the thermometer reads single digits, and the window shows nothing but wind and snow, the idea of working out can send chills down your spine, literally. The cold has a way of deterring us from fitness goals and leading us to the couch, fireplace and hot chocolate.
There are plenty of indoor and fun options for staying fit and focused in the winter.
Make a plan
As with any time of the year, an important part of maintaining a healthy routine is by planning to commit to a daily dose of exercise.
Try yoga asana as an exercise at home
Changing up the routine can help you make your workouts a little more exciting and give you new feats to discover. According to Healthline, yoga asana is the easiest way to stay fit in winter. You can be any fitness level to start and it can be done at home. Try a new yoga asana class this winter or commit to a fitness plan that can be done at home, with friends, or at the gym.
Yoga asana can be done almost anywhere, especially indoors, which means you can stay out of the cold while you work out. There are plenty of free online classes and tutorials that can teach you the basics and get you started.
The Yoga Journal maintains that yoga asana can keep you healthy this winter. By implementing certain poses you can increase circulation and help your body clear out bacteria and viruses by filtering them out through the lymph nodes. A regular yoga routine can also help you stay warm and prevent aches and stiffness.
Build your home gym
Taking some time and a little investment in a simple home gym can really pay off in terms of motivation. All you need is your body and a few basic tools to help. Having a specifically designated space in your home for your workouts will set you up for success. With just a few basic tools and equipment, you can ensure a full-body and effective workout, even as the snow falls outside.
Don’t let your body down this winter. Keep it active with a creative approach to in-home training. Remember to make a plan and a commitment to yourself and your goals. Implementing exercise as a regular part of your day can bring years of well-being and health.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Guest Blog by Ashley Burns
Traditionally, healthcare providers treat mental health conditions with medication and forms of therapy. Alternative methods of treatment are not considered as often. One alternative method for specific mental health conditions, yoga therapy, and thrives on a calm and patient environment. Yoga inspires body awareness through poses and controlled breathing techniques. When yoga therapy is used as complementary treatment for both anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, it can reduce physical stress responses such as high heart rate, blood pressure and respiration levels in the same vein as exercise and self-soothing techniques.
Multiple studies reveal how yoga therapy can improve mental health and become proper treatment for symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders, according to a Harvard Mental Health Letter.
Controlled breathing techniques, which are a significant aspect of yoga, can aid in the treatment of depression. In 2005, a German study evaluated two different groups of women with emotional distress; one group practiced yoga and the other did not receive any intervention. The yoga group practiced yoga two times a week for three months. The researchers noted that the women in the yoga group reported improvements in stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue and other factors associated with emotional distress at the end of the study. The women also reported less physical pain and better sleep compared with the control group.
Along with depression symptoms, yoga therapy has also been shown to help with PTSD symptoms. Individuals with PTSD experience unwanted flashbacks or nightmares, a feeling of constant fear or danger, depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability and more, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. A study revealed that a group of United States active duty military personnel deployed in Iraq who practiced yoga felt less combat stress than a group that did not, according to an article in the Huffington Post. In the study, 35 United States Air Force and army personnel participated in nine sessions of the “Yoga Warrior method,” a mash-up of hatha yoga and sensory-based occupational therapy techniques. After the nine sessions, the yoga group reported increased feelings of relaxation, reduced anger and sleep improvement.
Yoga therapy has proven to be a capable addition to the treatment of people with depression or anxiety disorders like PTSD. A handful of descriptive preliminary studies show that yoga therapy can improve the symptoms of the participants with specific conditions. Yoga therapy is a low-risk option for all involved, so medical malpractice or side effects aren’t as widespread as they are in traditional healthcare.