Finding it difficult to stay active when the weather turns cold? You’re not alone! Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or even simply enjoy long walks, these activities are made more difficult by cold weather, fewer hours of daylight or lack of access to a gym. Fortunately, Luke has you covered! Lucas Carr, DPT, CSCS, developed the following exercise routines you can do from the warmth of your own home, with “equipment” you already have on hand (think: a couch, a chair, a water bottle or a gallon of milk)! While these exercises don’t replace dedicated cardio, they will get your heart rate up and improve strength, muscle tone and even flexibility.
We recommend choosing 3 exercises in each category, start by doing 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise with 30-60 seconds rest in between each set. You can scale this up or down to make it more or less challenging. Try mixing up the exercises to keep it interesting.
Remember to gently stretch before each workout and talk with your doctor if you aren’t sure you should begin a new workout routine. Listen to your body and stop, slow down, or modify the exercise if you experience pain or discomfort while performing any of these exercises. And don’t forget proper form is more important than the number of reps or amount of weight you can tolerate.
– Push-ups (you can do these on an elevated surface like a chair, or bend your knees to make them easier)
– Dips off the side of a couch or chair (bend your knees to make them easier, straighten them to make them more difficult)
– Shoulder raises to the front or side with can of soup or water bottle
– Skull crushers/triceps extensions with can of soup or water bottle
– Biceps curls with a gallon of milk
– Planks (on your hands, forearms, or to the side)
– Mountain climbers
– Leg lifts
– Dead bug
– Bicycle crunches
– Forward/backward/side lunges
– Squats (use just your body weight, or add a can of soup or water bottle to make it more challenging)
– Steps-ups or cross-over step-ups
– Calf raises on the stairs
To get your heart rate up a little more, try creating a circuit with these exercises or adding jumping jacks or burpees. Pilates and yoga are also great exercises that can easily be done at home. Here is a resource for a variety of free YouTube yoga channels: https://www.self.com/story/best-youtube-yoga-channels.
For specific instruction on these exercises check out this link. There are also endless online resources including popular fitness magazines and even the Mayo Clinic if you want to find ways to make these exercises more advanced or find modifications.