We all have the best intentions when it comes to working out, whether rain or shine. However as the cold weather closes in and the rain starts pouring it becomes harder and harder to find the motivation to exercise, let alone the opportunity! With that in mind, let’s look at the best ways to workout and keep your fitness levels up even when the weather disagrees.

Join a fitness class for your rainy day workout

There are so many fitness classes and exercise options these days that it is nearly impossible to have an excuse not to work out – even when the weather is bad!

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Classes continue to evolve to satisfy every whim and level of fitness – from the classics like Step Aerobics and Low Impact formats, the mind/body experiences of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates, to the hard core Boot Camp, Tae Bo and HIIT routines.

Here’s a few that may interest you

Step Aerobics: introduced in the 1980s, a step class is highly choreographed using an elevated platform. This kick started one of the true global booms for the fitness industry.

Low Impact: joint and back friendly

Yoga: most gyms now offer a range of Yoga styles and intensities

Tai Chi: a graceful form of Chinese martial arts that helps improve balance

Pilates: a total body workout that improves strength and flexibility

Boot Camp: an intense circuit class

Tae Bo: a workout format that recruits martial arts techniques

– HIIT: 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training to maximize fat burning

Spinning: a fun way to ‘ride’ away calories with indoor cycling

When it’s rainy outside, bring the class home

Sometimes it is raining so hard that getting to the gym is not possible. No worries! You can incorporate some of the routines from these classes into a circuit in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Little equipment is required to have fun, get a full body workout and feel good about your efforts in spite of the rainy weather. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a mat.

Give yourself enough room to set up the mat with adequate space and use your favorite workout music to boost your motivation.

Time to work out

Warm Up – Take a few minutes to warm up your body in order to prepare muscles for exercise and to prevent potential injury.

Walk on the spot for 1 minute add an extra minute lifting your knees as high as you can

Alternate digging your heels in front of you for 1 minute

Stand on one foot and swing the free leg back and forth then repeat on the other side

Swing your arms up and down or in large circles, shrug your shoulders and take a few deep breaths

Circuit 1 – Standing routine for 3 sets

Cardio: Use punches, jabs, blocks and kicks to raise your heart rate.  The key is to keep your joints soft so avoid locking joints – do not extend any limb so that it is completely straight.

Stay on the balls of your feet, engage your core and move from side to side.  Aim for 1 minute of continuous movement.

Rainy Day Workout_2

Reverse lunges: Stand with feet hip width apart and step back with the right foot in a controlled manner, then lower your body so that the left thigh is parallel to the floor, keeping the knee over the ankle.

Return to start and switch sides. 15 repetitions alternating from side to side

Single arm Lateral Row: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and position the right foot back at least 2-3 feet.

Holding one weight in the right hand with arm extended down toward the floor use your entire shoulder and upper back (squeeze your shoulder blades together) to pull the weight up towards your waist while keeping the elbow close to the body.

Return to start for 15 reps and switch sides

Squats: Stand with feet hip width apart and lower your bottom towards the floor behind you as if you are trying to sit down while keeping both knees over the ankles. 15 repetitions

Circuit 2 – Floor routine for 3 sets

Chest Press: Lie on your back with knees bent.  With both arms bent at the elbows and out at your sides in a T-position, hold a weight in each hand and extend arms upwards keeping the elbows soft and above the chest.  Return to start for 15 reps

Abs: One of the best ways to work the core are planks.  Start in a push-up position and lower your forearms to the floor so the elbows are in line with the shoulders (beginners should start on the knees and not the toes).

Keep your body in a straight line through the back and hips and hold for as long as possible. Aim for 1-2 minutes

Cool Downalways remember to stretch your major muscle groups when you are done such as thighs, calves, shoulders and back.  Yoga poses such as the Downward Dog, Angry Cat and the Pigeon will help lengthen your muscles and help you relax.

Read more from Expert Leslie Olsen.

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