Fitness Tips for Winter

By Steve Silverman

Staying in shape is a year-round activity. Many people who like to jog, walk or ride their bicycles in the spring, summer and fall find they don't have those options when it comes to winter. Those who are determined to exercise, however, can continue to do so in the colder months by working out inside.

Exercise Ball Stretches

The exercise ball is an excellent piece of equipment when it comes to helping the body stretch and build core strength. It can be used in any open part of your house; many people use them in their basement, rec room or living room. Lay on your stomach as you get on top of the exercise ball. Take your arms and hold the ball around the middle. Roll down so your head and neck are centered on the middle of the exercise ball. Roll up and return to your original position. Repeat this exercise 10 times. This will help stretch the muscles around your midsection.

Running on the Treadmill

Home treadmill use continues to grow in popularity, and it is a piece of exercise equipment that many people consider vital in the winter months. You can set the type of course you want to run, the difficulty of the run and the amount of time you run. You can place your treadmill in front of the television, or pop on head phones and listen to music. By running on the treadmill three times a week in the winter, you can maintain or advance your conditioning.

Strength Training

Strength training can be done with dumbbells or without equipment. Depending on your level of conditioning, arm curls are a great exercise to strengthen and tone your arms. Strength is an important function for all people, including seniors who lose much of their strength if they don't work out. A recommended exercise for a 35-year old man would be to use two 40-pound dumbbells and curl them up to your shoulders. You can do this alternately or do 10 lifts with your right arm and 10 lifts with your left arm before you are finished. You can use different weight amounts depending on your strength level, but you should do them in groups of 10 and you should repeat your set after a 30-second break.

Isometric exercises also will increase strength without the use of free weights. Stand up straight, and take your hands and push them against each other in front of your chest for 10 counts. Relax for a few seconds and repeat this exercise for another 10 counts. Now interlock your fingers and pull with both hands. Do this for a count of 10, and repeat the exercise after taking a rest for a few seconds.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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