Finding the Motivation and Places to Exercise in Winter

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In the middle of winter it can be difficult to find the motivation and places to exercise.  There are ways around this.  One of the things I do to exercise in winter is to walk in places like malls and large stores.  Since I tend to be a night person I sometimes go to the all night Wal-Mart or supermarket and just walk the isles for twenty to thirty minutes at a time.  I like to walk in these places, often between 9 pm and 7 am, because they are well lighted and I can often find if things are going on sale.  It is also easier to find things during slower hours since I’m not going against crowds.  It can also be fun to chat with the night clerks and cashiers as overnight shifts tend to be less formal.  Get to exercise, find bargains, and get good conversation in cases like these.  While it wouldn’t work for those with family and work responsibilities to be doing exercises at night, it works well for me.  I’m merely throwing a few ideas out.

I also sometimes dance in my apartment.  I use an iPod and headphones as to not disturb my neighbors.  A good half hour of dance can burn calories, often better than just walking. If you are concerned about being seen through your windows, you can always close the drapes.  Yet, even if you are seen dancing in your own home, dance like no one is watching because no one really cares.  Other people are quite busy with their own concerns as to pay much attention to what may cause paranoia and embarrassment to us who have mental health problems.

Another thing I do is just simple arm weights.  The weight shouldn’t be so heavy that you have to strain at lifting it.  I’m quite strong and the most weight I do for my arms on basic curls is 10 pounds.  I mainly go for numbers of reps as opposed to weight.  I also don’t do it every day.  I do it only twice to three times per week.  I also stretch before and after each session.  Most sessions last only five to ten minutes.  I do mine when I’m watching tv, often during commercials.  If you do decide to go this route, start small and throughly stretch before and after the sessions.  I have found stretching after a lifting session lessens muscle pain the next day. I have also heard of football coaches and trainers using this method of stretching to lower muscle pains and injuries in their players and students. Never work the same muscles two days in a row.  Right now I’m just doing arm muscles as I don’t have any real fancy equipment or a gym membership.

You actually don’t really need metal weights. I had a grandfather who, rather than buying arm weights, used empty milk jugs filled with sand and/or cat litter.  Did this for years until he was at least eighty.  Push ups and stomach crunches can be done anywhere with some open floor space.  It simply doesn’t take a lot of cool equipment if you have the desire to get into better health and are on a tight budget.  It does take some creative thinking and a good fitting pair of walking shoes.

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Author: alifeofmentalillness

I write about my experiences with mental illness and life in general. I am also currently under going 'lifestyle changes' (I hate the term 'dieting' as it's sounds so temporary) and have lost 70 pounds since spring 2014. I've put my poetry and novel writing on lower priority since I started losing weight and blogging more seriously.

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