By Lisa Caplan
It’s cold outside and I’m sure the last thing you want to do is leave the warmth and comfort of your home to go workout. Although it is cold, getting moving is not only good for your body; it is good for your mood. Staying active decreases stress, increases energy, reduces the winter blues, and can help you sleep at night, as well as provide many other health benefits. So, the next time you come up with excuses for why you want to abandon getting moving, here are some easy things you can do to decide instead to stay active. All it takes is a little “thinking outside of the box” and being creative.
- Be safe. Make sure you check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Find a buddy. We all need motivation and exercising with someone else helps you stick to your plan. You also don’t want to let your buddy down because they are relying on you.
- Walk the mall. Leave your wallet at home, put on your tennis shoes, and use the mall as an indoor track. Some malls accommodate walkers before stores open in the mornings.
- Think of exercise as something you incorporate into your entire day. For example, parking farther out in the lot, taking the stairs, vacuuming. Build it in where ever you can each day.
- Community centers are a great place to look for something new to try like yoga, dance, boot camp, etc., and can be relatively inexpensive.
- Join an indoor pool. Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise. You can also run or walk in the water, which both offer great resistance without the impact.
- Create a home gym. Fill your gym with safe, easy to use equipment. There are great DVDs, YouTube videos, as well as fitness shows you can watch. To keep your costs down, look for gently used equipment.
- Get outdoors. Whether you like to run, walk, or enjoy winter sports, getting outside in the fresh air is a wonderful way to be active and enjoy the outdoors. Don’t forget to dress appropriately. Dressing in layers works really well.
- Try something new that you always wanted to try, like ice skating, indoor rock climbing, or a new class.
- Whatever you decide to do, just keep moving. Doing small amounts of exercise over the day is great for boosting your mood, and it all adds up to a healthier you!
For assistance, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. We have a network of counselors throughout Maryland. Jim Quinn, Lawyer Assistance Director, (443) 703-3041, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C, Associate Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program, (443) 703-3042, email@example.com. Toll Free 1(888) 388-5459.
Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 20 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma.