by Madeleine Brown
I get it: it’s cold, it’s windy and possibly snowy—depending on which end of the country you find yourself on. But beach bods aside—there’s no expression I hate more—physical activity undoubtedly lifts our spirits. So during what’s often thought of as the most disheartening time of year, exercise is a natural remedy. And there’s no reason to even leave your home to do it. Sure, you could take note of my last post. However if you’re too disillusioned to take a stroll outside or visit the gym then you need something a little unconventional and unexercise-like. Here’s how to stay active when the weather’s telling you to curl up in a ball and drink hot chocolate.
Pull a Cinderella
Now you’re probably upset by this suggestion. You never thought I’d classify cleaning, cooking and organizing as “unconventional exercise.” Well, I did, so deal. Without a hint of sarcasm, household chores are an example of physical activity. And who knows just how dirty your living space is? It could make for several major clean-ups. Schedule a cleaning workout by room. Don’t overwhelm yourself by cleaning potentially an entire house in one day. And say you have only a dorm room to yourself then limit a single cleaning session to one area such as your dresser. You’d be surprised how much effort you could put into cleaning your dresser. How about washing every item in it? And then ironing them? How about dusting and then lining each drawer? You can easily expand this level of detail to entire rooms like your kitchen, which in itself could take multiple sessions. Finally, I have to add cooking is also a form of exercise. Prepare a three-course dinner party for four people and you’ll be sweating right up until the first guest arrives.
While it’s arguable that you could make cleaning social—as long as you have kind enough friends—here’s a more likely social form of exercise: dance party. Now impromptu dance parties don’t usually last most than one song, so a little planning is required to make a workout-equivalent one. Ensure hydration options are on hand, energetic, confident friends are in attendance and a stacked, danceable playlist is prepped. Alternatively, follow a YouTube tutorial and learn your favourite performer’s choreo. How about Beyoncé’s “Formation” routine from the 2015 Superbowl? Or a combo inspired by Rihanna’s “Work”? Even if your results aren’t perfect, they’re probably entertaining. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they also produced some sweat.
Stretch it out
We too quickly associate exercise with building strength and cardiovascular endurance. However, while both are important, they should be balanced out with flexibility, breath and a focused mindset. Anyone else thinking yoga? Skip the flow and jump straight to yin yoga. This style of yoga invites you to hold postures for upwards of five minutes with the assistance of props all the while riding your “edge.” By doing so, and most importantly doing so without any muscular effort or pain, you’ll moderately stress your connective tissue and thusly improve your flexibility. And you’ll challenge your ego to boot. Check out YouTube for a series of classes.