By Beth Buck
You’ve probably guessed by the title that this blog post will have something to do with exercise. And you’re not wrong! It’s the New Year, and millions of Americans (including me!) have resolved to lose weight and get healthy. Yet not everyone is successful in their fitness goals, and most people quit going to the gym around February.
About now is probably when you’re asking why I’m writing about gyms and weight loss when I’m supposed to be writing about preparing for disasters. What if I told you that being healthy can also be preparedness? Natural disasters can be physically strenuous, after all, and you want to be prepared for that, right? Not only that, but exercising now can prepare you for good health far into the future.
I was only twelve when my parents enrolled me in Tae Kwon Do. My mom said at the time, “It’s good for you to build up your bone density now, so you’ll be less likely to get osteoporosis when you’re older.” I haven’t gotten osteoporosis yet, so it seems like that was a good strategy. When I’m not writing about food storage and wheat, I am chasing after a houseful of small, unruly children, so I need my stamina and my health to do that effectively. I also want to safeguard my health—by getting in shape and being active now, I’ll be much healthier when I’m in my 60s.
Enough preaching—everyone can agree that exercise is good for you. Doing it, now that’s the tricky part. Somewhere along the line most of us have this idea in our heads that exercise is unpleasant, especially when facing a foot of snow outside. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be simpler than you would think. For some, it could be as easy as finding an activity that you enjoy.
As an example, I am not overly fond of running, nor do I enjoy most organized sports. That pretty much encapsulates everything that they teach in high school gym class. But I quite like the martial arts, yoga, and, to a lesser degree, weight training. Don’t think of yourself as being “unathletic” just because you, too, hated gym in high school.
Try out a lot of things until you find something that works well for you. If you think you’d do better with accountability and structure of having to go to a separate location, wearing dedicated workout clothing, then a gym membership is probably for you. Gyms are located indoors, which makes going to them a perfect winter activity.
However, if going to the gym is inconvenient or cost prohibitive, working out in your living room in your pajamas is an acceptable alternative. Most American living rooms are indoors as well—also perfect for cold weather. YouTube has an assortment of workout videos available, from whole channels devoted to yoga to old-school aerobics from the 1980s. Pinterest is full of ideas for short, high-intensity workouts, as well. And of course there is always good, old-fashioned calisthenics to fall back on: push-ups, sit-ups, etc.
With the wide variety of exercises that can be done comfortably indoors, you don’t need to wait until summer time to lose the holiday weight and stay fit.
If you already have a good winter-months exercise routine, what is it like? Tell us in the comments!
Beth Buck has been involved with emergency preparedness since her very earliest years. She enjoys hiking, martial arts, reading, and writing about food storage. Beth lives in the Intermountain West with her family.