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Combe Grove’s ways to work out without a gym this winter

Combe Grove’s ways to work out without a gym this winter.

Combe Grove Oak Room

Whilst it may feel difficult to find ways to keep fit right now, there are plenty of ways to stay active at home or outdoors. In this article, we will run through some ways that you can work out without a gym this winter. 

Outdoor fitness

There are ample ways for us to exercise outside, no matter what the weather. Running, walking, cycling and hiking are great ways to make use of our natural surroundings to get active. 

As an aerobic workout that focuses on the cardiovascular system, glutes and leg muscles, cycling is an excellent way to get some exercise without a gym. Running or jogging are also a good way to exercise outside all year round. If you are thinking about taking up running, you may find this NHS article on Running for Beginners useful. And there is plenty of local information on the Get Bath Running website, including a number of Bath based running groups.  Maybe even give yourself a goal and sign up for The Bath Half Marathon, on 5th September.  The Team at Combe Grove will be supporting runners with their running ambitions as part of our forthcoming programme.

If running is not your cup of tea, taking a brisk walk can be more beneficial for your body than you may think. Walking is another exercise that is beneficial for your cardiovascular system. It is great for your heart, lungs and circulation whilst also working on your lower muscle groups. You may also find it beneficial to use an App such as the NHS’ Active 10 on your phone to help you to track your steps, set goals and view your achievements. 

Tips for working out in cold weather –

Whilst exercising in the cold winter air can feel exhilarating, you should be mindful not to get too cold. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate clothing and dress to stay dry. Layer up and wear bright colours if you’re going to be near any main roads. For the same reason, it is beneficial to warm up your muscles before doing any exercise outside in the cold – sprains and strains are more likely with cold muscles as the connective tissue has less elasticity.

Sometimes, the cold weather can make you feel less thirsty, however, exercising in the cold can dehydrate you just as much as working out in the heat. It is important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and moisturise your skin.

Use your stairs to keep fit 

As I’m sure many of us have learnt this year, you don’t always need a gym full of equipment to get a good workout. If you have a set of stairs in your house – or some nearby – this can be enough to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up.

According to Run Society, “An intense stair-climbing exercise session will produce more aerobic benefits in a shorter amount of time than running or walking. One hour of stair climbing will burn approximately 1,000 calories.”

A few workouts that you can do on your stairs include:

Step-ups – Using just the first step, stand with your arms at your side and engage your core. Using your left foot first, step onto the first step and then follow with your right foot. Following this, lead with your left leg and step back onto the floor. Repeat this for as long as you feel necessary. For more of a challenge, hold a dumbbell or a weighted object. 

Stair push-ups – Use your bodyweight for an arm and core workout on your stairs. Walk your arms up your stairs until they are shoulder-width apart and in-line with your upper chest. Push yourself up and repeat.

Stair lunges – Facing away from the stairs keep your left foot placed firmly on the ground and elevate your right foot to the second step behind you. Place your hands on your hips for balance and slowly lower yourself down. Hold for 5 seconds and then repeat on the other side. For this exercise, you can also use a chair in replacement of the step.

Stair climbs – This one is as simple as it sounds. Walking up and down your stairs for a period of time will give you a good cardio workout and raise your heart rate. Whilst doing so, ensure you are in grippy shoes or barefoot. 

Yoga for exercise and mindfulness 

Yoga is a great exercise for both physical and mental health and can be undertaken with any level of fitness. Some of the physical benefits of practicing yoga include improved flexibility, strength and blood flow. Also, the focused breath work that comes with mindful yoga practice can help to improve respiration and vitality. Yoga also improves balance and lower body strength which can thereby reduce the risk of falls. 

Dr Natalie Nevins, a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and osteopathic family physician states that “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centres attention; and sharpens concentration,”

All you need is a mat and some floor space. At Combe Grove, we are offering online Yoga classes for the time being in replacement of our in-person classes. Take a look at our timetable here.

Dance for fun and fitness

Did you know that you burn on average between 180 and 266 calories with just 30 minutes of dancing? Dancing is an excellent activity for improving posture and muscle strength, increasing coordination and balance and beating stress. According to the NHS, dancing can also improve heart health in older people. 

Sign up to an online class

Participating in an online class can be a great way to gather the motivation for your daily exercise. Not only are they scheduled at a certain time, but you may also find that you benefit from a trainer and other participants to spur you on. At Combe Grove, we are an offering excellent online class timetable which is filled with a variety of different classes from Yoga to Body Pump.

We understand that it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise at home. Here are a few tips that may help you to work out without a gym this winter:

– Set scheduled workout slots in your calendar at the start of each week. Choose the workouts that you would like to do ahead of time.

– Pick exercise routines that excite you. Exercise keeps us fit but it can also elevate our mood. Even just 15 minutes can help you to feel great for the rest of the day. Find workouts that excite you, plan a walk in a beautiful location and give yourself a reason to look forward to your exercise routine.

– Allow yourself the time for exercise. Yes, life can get busy but think about it this way: 20 minutes is only 1.39% of your day. You can do it.

– Set up a dedicated space for your exercise. Ensure that there is always enough floor space to lay a yoga mat so that you don’t have to start tidying up right before your workout.

– When working out on cold, dark mornings, it may help to place your clothes on the radiator beforehand so that they are toasty when you put them on.

Remember to stay safe when exercising outside, to maintain social distancing if walking, running or cycling with a friend and we look forward to welcoming you to enjoy the wellness facilities and new gym at Combe Grove very soon. If you enjoyed this post on “Combe Grove’s ways to work out without a gym this winter”, then feel free to check out our other journal posts, where we share more tips on physical and mental health.