When winter weather hits, it may be tempting to curl up on the couch to watch TV rather than getting outside for some exercise, but exercise is important no matter the time of year. If you either can’t or don’t like exercising in the cold, there are plenty of indoor options to get your heart pumping.


Maintaining an active lifestyle year-round is vital for your physical health and your mental health, too. Staying active is important for a healthy cardiovascular system, and for keeping unwanted holiday weight gain at bay. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve your sleep.


Plus, the good news is that there are many easy, fun and even free ways to keep fit during the winter months.


  • Exercise at home. There is no need for expensive equipment or a gym membership to either get in shape or to stay fit. Choose from circuit training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, Pilates or cardio workouts — whatever you enjoy that gets your heart rate up. There are plenty of free videos available online, or you can simply set a timer and make up your own routines. In addition to dedicated exercise sessions, don’t forget that being more active throughout your day is also beneficial. That means housework and all of those trips up and down the stairs count, too.


  • Join a gym or fitness club. If you are looking for something outside of the house, there are many opportunities to consider. You could join a gym for weight training and fitness classes, swim laps or take water aerobics classes at an indoor pool, play squash, shoot hoops, or take up an indoor sport like martial arts.


  • Get active and social. From 10-pin bowling to skating or indoor rock climbing, there are likely many new activities located nearby that you can try by yourself or with others. Grab a friend, and go dancing. If you don’t know how to dance, take a class. If you just want to walk and talk but the weather doesn’t allow it, you can always head to the mall for a brisk walk indoors.


  • Invest in exercise equipment. Although you can exercise just as easily without it, there are a number of options for those looking for home exercise equipment. Treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines and stationary bikes are all great options for cardio workouts. For weight training, you can outfit a home gym or go with a few dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands to get you started.


  • Get up, and play. Whether it’s a dance-off, a table tennis competition or playing games like Twister®, hide-and-seek or musical chairs with the kids, being active at home doesn’t even have to feel like exercise.


From all of us at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!


The team at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists consists of North Louisiana’s leading experts in cardiovascular care. To schedule an appointment, please call our office at (318) 798-9400.