It’s October! As the cool, crisp days of Autumn slowly ascend upon us we prepare for the activities and festivities that the fall and winter season bring. When we turn the clocks back next month, we'll know the shift of seasons is official. The change of seasons often coincides with a change in our exercise routines as falling temperatures and inclement weather force us indoors. This, in fact, is a great time to bust out of the boredom that you may be experiencing with your current fitness program and try some new fitness options to challenge your body, stoke your metabolism, and reenergize your mind.
If you have been doing the same routine (machines, weights, cardio equipment, etc.) for an extended period of time, you may find that you have hit a weight-loss plateau. When you begin a new exercise regiment, your body feels challenged and requires energy to complete the task. However, keeping the same routine in place long-term allows your body to adapt and become more efficient at performing the work. The body eventually requires less effort and less calories to do the job. So, keeping that in mind, as you prepare to turn back your clocks consider some of the following low-impact indoor options to breathe some fresh air into your fitness routine:
- SPINNING (Indoor Cycling): Hopping on the bike is a fun way to fit in some exercise, with a low chance of damaging the joints. A simulation of hill climbs, intervals, quick bursts of speed on flat road or downhill, or long-sustained flat roads will make you feel as though you just completed the Tour-de-France, but without ever having to leave the gym. Complete your own spin routine or sign up for a guided class to enhance the adventure! To keep the workout as low-impact as possible, avoid standing positions for more than 1-minute intervals at a time, and use them sparingly.
- ROWING MACHINE: The rowing machine is a low-impact, intense and fun way to work virtually every major muscle group in your body with one machine. This workout offers significant improvement in cardiovascular function and increases muscle mass, while being performed with very little pressure on the joints.
- ZUMBA: This indoor workout has been taking the world by storm for nearly a decade now. The combination of upbeat music of a wide range of Latin-inspired genres with primarily low-impact moves is guaranteed to excite you and challenge you! Some Zumba instructors incorporate more low-impact moves than others so find an instructor you like and be sure to modify when you need to. For variety, find a workout facility that offers Zumba Toning, a fusion of low-impact dance cardio and light upper body and low body resistance training.
- BALLROOM DANCING: Take a tip from Dancing With the Stars. Not only is dancing super sexy, it’s often very easy on the body and a guaranteed great workout, while also stimulating your brain by trying something new and different. Bonus points for this workout because it also gives you some quality bonding time with your spouse or partner. So go grab your partner and give those dips, twirls, and whirls a spin!
- TRX: Also known as “total-body resistance exercise,” TRX is a nylon strap suspension system (invented in the Marine Corps actually!) that’s easy on the joints but a serious challenge for your whole body. Head to the nearest gym to “learn the ropes”. If you really want to dive into over 45 different exercises and levels of each exercise that can be performed with this tool, consult a TRX qualified trainer!
- PILATES: To date, there has never been success with high-impact sports magically giving us six-pack abs. The real way to sculpt abs and increase core strength? Just roll out the mat for a quick Pilates session to strengthen and lengthen your body, improve alignment and posture, develop breathing capacity, improve coordination and balance and increase your flexibility. Participants benefit from the deep concentration allowing them to tune into both body and mind.
- YOGA: It’s no tackle football, but the NFL pros are doing it. So ease up and add some spinal twists and downward dogs to that fitness routine. Research shows that yoga helps to improve flexibility, enhance self-awareness, improve lung capacity, and restore your mind-body connection.
Be sure to look at the LIVE Well package from Hilton Head Health for more information about fun, challenging fitness and wellness routines.