As it gets darker, we always look for ways to stay healthy especially when facing holiday meals. Short of paying up for an expensive indoor class, here are three simple, free or cheap ways to stay healthy and keep your stress down through the holidays and beyond.
1) Walk it off
A new study has shown that walking a total of 6 miles per week slows memory loss and even whole brain shrinkage, which sounds dirty, I know. But get this, building or maintaining brain volume is the #1 answer so far, in the fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Use it as a gossip or catch up with your friends. Map out the distance in a pleasant, safe area—even if you cycle or drive to the meeting place, you’re staying safe and getting the exercise you deserve! Something reflective is a great idea, too.
A personal gear tip—I call these pants my “magic pants” for walking. They’re stretchy, windblocking, fuzzy inside and good enough for work. I can’t express my love for them enough.
2) Stay on the ball
Get yourself a used or cheap exercise ball. Then go to YouTube and search for exercise suggestions using the ball. Or search for beginner through expert exercises online. Even the health experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend this simple, fun exercise tool.
3) Hoop it up
This is not your mother’s Hula Hoop! Hooping is the biggest exercise craze right now. Weighted hoops, LED hoops and even fire are popular with dancers and buskers across the world. Weighted hoops offer short bursts of exercise that can tone up your core, lats and even arms and legs if you work with a smaller hoop. [Hooping is NOT recommended if you have back problems.]
Making your own hoop is pretty straightforward and reasonable. Then you get to decorate it yourself, too. Or you can buy a ready-made version. You’ll be joining a vibrant community with many personable fellow hoopers all across the country. There’s even a documentary about the supportive and super fun community.
When the season sends you indoors, what keeps you healthy? Your own exercise routine, a DVD, or favorite prop?