Who doesn't love a winter wonderland and fun activities like ice skating and snowboarding? I sure do! But I've got to admit that this winter seems endless. Maybe your driveway has been covered in snow since Thanksgiving. Maybe your cheeks get chapped from the wind every morning on the walk to the subway. Maybe you just miss the sunshine! If you've got the winter blues and have noticed yourself falling out of your usual exercise routines, or even if you need to jumpstart those New Year's resolutions that have been on the back burner, try these quirky additions to your home life that can get you going and keep you moving.
1. Make a Love Connection.
Well, sort of. When you're watching TV, choose your favorite couple in the story and whenever they smooch on screen, get up from the couch and do 10 push-ups. Now that's a labor of love!
2. A Balancing Act.
Whenever you're dragging yourself out of bed in the morning or feel too tired/lazy to wash your face before bed, try your bathroom routine standing on one leg. Even just a little balance challenge once (or twice, if you're up for it!) is exercise for both your mind and body. The physical act of balancing on one leg activates both your lower body and your core. Do your makeup on your left leg, brush your teeth on your right. Try blow-drying your hair. You can switch it up to keep it interesting! It can keep you centered as well. Think about tree pose in yoga. It's all about presence. What could be better before heading to work?
3. Have a Seat.
Sounds great, right? A relaxing moment in a cha... wait a minute. That's not the kind of seat we're talking about. I challenge you to a daily set of wall-sits. Anytime you put something in the microwave, do a wall-sit until your food is ready. Of course a break or two is allowed, but you've got to commit to the whole time. The beauty of this challenge is that it varies. Melting butter for a recipe? A quick 20-second sit. Making popcorn? 2.5-minute sit. You'll be feeling like a pro in no time. Plus, you get a reward at the end of the exercise. Yum!
4. New Friend Request.
Spend a lot of time on Facebook when you're at home (or at work? Shh!)? Why not make it a mind/body experience? You've got a choice here: If your social media time is keeping you sedentary and away from the gym, do one minute of jumping jacks for every new friend request you get. If, however, you use social media at the end of the day to unwind a bit, take a one-minute silent meditation for every friend request you get. You can focus in on your breath or even reflect upon the friend you're connecting with online.
5. Don't Fast Forward.
If you're a Netflix, Hulu or On Demand devotee, you may jump at the opportunity to fast forward through the opening titles or song of whatever show you're marathoning. "What?!" you say, "but those two minutes saved make it possible to watch 10 whole episodes in a day instead of nine!" Flip that on its head. If you're watching that much New Girl, you probably aren't getting any exercise or fresh air. Think of those two minutes as an opportunity. Do jumping jacks or dance or do sit-ups to the opening song. And hey, by episode nine, that's almost 20 minutes of activity you've gotten just by watching TV!
Pick at least one of the quirky exercises from the list and try it out for a month. That's enough time to develop a habit and feel some results. What's fun about adding little things like these into your daily routine is that you can customize them to your life. Maybe you're never on Facebook. Good for you! But instead, you check your email obsessively -- on your phone, iPad, computer, whenever you can. You can take the same idea of a social media meditation and apply it to your life: for every 10 emails you get, close your eyes and do one full minute of deep breathing. With a little creativity, your opportunities are endless. Get moving, but most importantly, have some fun!