Blustery winds, icy sidewalks, and mounds of snow are all winter time hazards. This is especially true to someone with a bleeding disorder. The first sign of cold weather often brings fitness routines indoors. While it can be challenging to stay active in the winter, it is important to maintain activity levels, not only for physical health, but especially for your emotional well being when sunlight is scarce and the walls around us seem to get closer together each day.
The CDC recommends that children get at least one hour of physical activity each day. For adults and older adults (with no limiting health issues), 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise every week and muscle strengthening activities 2 days a week are the recommendations. 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but it’s not. That’s 2 hours and 30 minutes that can be spread throughout the entire week. Break it up into smaller chunks of time such as three, 10 min intervals during the day. Be sure to keep the intensity moderate to vigorous to gain the most benefit from your activity. There are many fun and safe ways to stay active indoors to keep you fit and help to maintain a healthy weight:
Take a class–Most communities offer indoor activities like aerobics, Tae kwon do, fitness boot camps, indoor walking, martial arts and yoga through their Recreation Departments. Many of these activities are available at low cost and can be great fun for families to do together.
Utilize Technology-Exergaming is the latest workout craze. It combines video games with exercise for a fun challenge while you workout. Intensity is important, so be sure to engage yourself in the activity as much as you are able. Dancing, yoga, boxing, bowling and golf are only a few of the options available on a variety of gaming systems. Exergaming is a great way to get the whole family exercising together. Set up a tournament and offer small rewards for the winners as extra incentive to play. Rent or share games to keep costs lower and to keep your workouts varied.
Click in-Go to the video tab on this website to learn and try gentle warm up exercises, deep breathing techniques, stress releasing activities and more. They are free, easy and useful. http://www.hemophiliafed.org/news-stories/fitness-videos/
Watch TV–Many stations offer fitness classes that can be done in the comfort of your own
home. Tune in and workout with an expert. Most of the activities and exercises on these
shows can be modified for individuals at varying fitness levels. Can’t find a TV class that fits into your workout schedule? Rent a video from the library and workout at your convenience.
Climb the Stairs-if you have access to stairs where you live, make a few trips up and down them each day. Climbing burns calories and will work the muscles in your legs. The more times you climb the better the workout you will get.
Find a pool– Swimming is very often recommended as a safe type of exercise for people who have a bleeding disorder. A swimming pool can provide both a place for kids to play with less risk of joint injury and an excellent way to exercise your whole body.
Dust off that equipment-Treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines can all provide a safe, effective, cardio and strengthening exercise. Play your favorite music, or catch up on your favorite TV shows while getting fit. The key is, you have got to get on them to make them work.
The key to success, is finding activities that are enjoyable to you, so that you will stick with them. It is also a great idea to vary your workout to keep it different, challenging and exciting. Exercise as a family or find a buddy that will keep you accountable to your workouts. Wintertime can be a great time to come indoors and find new ways to warm up to your workouts.
*As with any new activity, or if you are having joint or bleeding problems, make sure you check with your physician or therapist to be sure you are ready to get started.