We runners are all a little nutty, but we are good people, who just want to enjoy our healthy, primitive challenge. Sometimes, we ask ourselves why we take part in this activity, especially during the winter months?
There are a number of reasons why we have a passion for running. It provides us with an enhanced sense of well-being, a feeling of euphoria, and a feeling of accomplishment. The fact that to run there is no need for a gym membership makes it the most economical workout activity. There are also a number of key health benefits such as; decrease in resting heart rate, decrease in resting blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), decrease incidence of diseases such as cancers and hypertension, improved ability to recover during and after running, and decrease in body fat percentage, which results in a healthier heart.
As winter makes its frosty presence known, we wonder if there are alternative exercises to outdoor running.
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I am a firm believer that no matter what the weather throws at us (within reason), we continue to run. I’m not condoning a run during a hurricane or crazy electrical storm! In order to continue running during the winter chill and generally darker conditions, you have to be wearing the appropriate attire. It’s all about layering up, the high vis and water resistant running shoes! Of course there are those days that the weather doesn’t permit us to do so, the heavens have opened, pavements are icy and thunderstorms have hit town. Logically, we avoid the unfriendly weather conditions to prevent any accident or injury.
In this case, training at home is ideal. This is when we have to put our creative caps on and structure a circuit. Push your couches and coffee tables to one side and you are good to go! The idea here is to select a series of high interval cardio drills that will target the same areas worked during running. These are exercises that are effective, accessible, and will get your heart pumping!
So, skip the winter running guilt-free by replacing it with these highly effective cardio alternatives:
1. Quick feet – starting in an athletic position come up on the balls of your feet. Run on the spot quickly ensuring knees don’t go above your waist. Stay low and use your arms the whole time.
2. Box Ski jumps – stand with feet hip width apart drop low in the hips and cross the right foot behind the left. Take a wide jump to the right landing with the left foot crossed behind the right. Keep jumping back and forth
3. Tuck Jumps – stand with feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Jump into the air bringing your knees up to your chest. Land softly with knees slightly bent and repeat.
4. Alternating Froggers – start in a push up position. Keep weight over your shudders and bring one foot up to the outside of the same hand. Jump the foot back as you bring the other foot forward. Keep switching back and forth as fast as you can with control.
5. Two Shuffles into 10 split jumps – Stand with two arms by your side and feet hip width apart. Crouch low into an athletic position and side step twice to one side. Step one foot in front of you and lower at the hips, bending both knees, jump up swapping your feet back and forward. Land softly and continue for 10 jumps. Side step twice back to the other side and repeat.
Give these a try and tell us what you think! Do you have any other alternatives to winter running? Eager to hear your thoughts!