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Have Fun Moving through the Winter

By Mary Lou Harris February 04, 2024 Health and Fitness

We’re into our second full month of winter. I don’t need a calendar to tell me this. When I have misplaced one half of each of my two favorite pairs of gloves, we have passed the half-way point of winter.

Thus far, my favorite hats are still accounted for, but looking a bit scruffy at the moment. If you see a woman running down the street wearing a red mitten on one hand and a black glove on the other, that is likely me.

Although I do love running and hiking, just for fun I began looking for some forms of exercise that wouldn’t require gloves and hats. Although I may not have tried all of these, let me share a few activities that are supposedly trending this year.

And, of course, what you choose to do for exercise is between you and your doctor.

Weighted Hula Hoops

These hula hoops have grown up from those we enjoyed as 12-year-olds. They are intended to help with fitness and weight loss. They vary in size from kids’ to plus sizes. Some even have a counter built in.

Weighted hula hoops are available on multiple online sites, lots of glitzy colors to make it fun, and I saw prices varying from $13 to $40.

Backward Running or Walking

This is a good one so long as you have a bit of space free of throw rugs and pointed pieces of furniture. And you can do it in around 60-second bits of time as your intervals.

I do this occasionally and feel most comfortable backward walking across an open space in my kitchen or basement. Walking backwards is said to improve coordination, increase focus and build stronger legs. Besides, again, it’s fun. In the depth of winter, we need some fun.

So, put that cup of coffee in the microwave to reheat for a minute. When the timer beeps you will have completed one circuit. This Healthline article about backward walking and running provides more detail on benefits and duration.

Online Fitness 30-Day Challenges

Challenges were a strong trend last year and a number of sites offered online fee-free challenges. This year, some of those have gone to paid membership. Still, there are several sites I have followed that remain available to anyone.

There are several benefits to a 30-day challenge. First, you are beginning from scratch along with everyone who is following online. Other participants may post about how it went for them that day, so there is a feeling of comradery even if you are working at it solo on your living room floor.

Last year, I participated in a Livestrong 30-day push-up challenge as well as a 30-day plank challenge. I continued those challenges for separate 30-day periods. Livestrong offer various 30-day/4-week challenges on their website.

I was surprised at how much my ability to do pushups improved. Now, I didn’t get to the full number doing a full pushup, but I was half-way there before I switched to a modified push-up form. I count that as a success since it was a vast improvement over where I started at the beginning of the challenge.

This year, I am again doing the 30-day Yoga Journey with Adrienne. Even though that 30-days is about to finish, the series will usually stay on the site for some time after its completion.

I hope one of my three offered options appeals to you on these frigid days when we are down to miss-matched gloves and slightly tattered hats. For those of you in warmer climes, any of the above will work well on your lanai or deck before the morning sun is too high for comfort.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How are you keeping your body moving through this long winter? Have you found a new exercise that is as fun as it is beneficial?

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Rhonda Teks

I adopted a Siberian Husky puppy when she was 6 months old. We walk several miles every day. It is good for both of us!

The Author

Mary Lou Harris is a proponent of active living, community volunteerism and inquisitive travel. After a post age 60 retirement from a career in public service, she expanded those interests to include ultra-trail running, hiking and extended-stay travel. She can be contacted through her website or on Twitter at @stillarunner.

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