It's officially December! This month, we'll welcome the winter solstice and all the cold-weather fun that comes with it. Hot cocoa, snow angels, gift shopping, ice skating, cookie baking, eggnog, holiday parties - you name it, I love it.
But one thing I don't love about winter is the freezing temperatures. December is such a busy month, and it seems like there is something on my calendar every day until the new year starts. Unfortunately, it feels like torture to leave my cozy apartment to do anything because I am so sensitive to the cold.
Between the chilly weather and my crazy schedule, I almost never find time to work out in December. And to be totally honest, I never make it as much of a priority as I should. Even though I know exercise reduces stress, improves my cardiovascular health, boosts my immune system, and burns the extra calories I'm getting from all of those Christmas cookies, it's rarely at the top of my to-do list.
And apparently I'm not alone. The American Psychological Association reports that only 29% of Millennials think they're doing a good job of staying physically active, and 52% of us have skipped a workout because we were feeling stressed. As backwards as that sounds, we've all been there. Although we know better, we just can't seem to get motivated to go to the gym when there is so much else going on in our lives.
One thing I've done to combat this problem is to find workouts I can do at home. I'm more likely to get the job done if I only have to move a few steps from my sofa to do it. Of course, you can buy a DVD or a book to help you establish a fitness regimen, but there are also a ton of free resources available online for working out.
Whether you're looking for something gentle, like a basic yoga class, or some hard-core cardio, there is something on this list for you. There are a variety of workouts for you to choose from, but all of them are free and require little to no special equipment. Incorporate them into your routine and stay healthy through the winter. Your body deserves it!
Strengthening your core is one of the best ways to prevent and heal back pain. This 10-minute workout will keep you fit and strong.
I love Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred DVD, and I was so happy to find her No More Trouble Zones workout for free on YouTube. Prepare yourself - this is an intense workout that will leave you breathless and sore.
This summer was all about the thigh gap. While that's a pretty unrealistic beauty standard, you can still work out your inner thighs with this short video.
Who doesn't want to channel the Victoria's Secret Angels? Try this 10-minute circuit inspired by the iconic babes - no bronzer required.
It's no secret that yoga is my favorite way to stay fit. If you've been curious about trying it, start with this short video that will show you some basic poses and ease you into this great work out.
For a slightly longer workout, queue this video up and go for it. This is a great routine if you want to try a morning workout, since it will boost your metabolism all day long.
Vinyasa yoga is the first kind of yoga that I practiced, and it is still one of my favorites. The graceful, flowing poses will make you feel strong and powerful.
If you really can't manage to get off your tush, try this seated arm and shoulder workout. Hey, you've got to do what you can, right?
If you've been indulging in a few too many glasses of eggnog (guilty!), try this tummy-slimming yoga sequence. It's a slideshow, rather than a video, so you can take your time and really master the poses.
Looking for fast results? This intense series will whip you into shape with only a set of dumbbells.
Here's another Jillian Michaels favorite of mine - can you tell I love her? She really knows what she's doing. Push yourself through this circuit and you'll thank yourself later.
The Betty Rocker is an awesome fitness website because she goes into such detail about why you're doing each move. This workout will kick your butt - seriously!
If you love dancing as much as I do, incorporate this 10-minute routine into your workout regimen. You'll have fun while you work your abs - how's that for multi-tasking?
Tabata is a high-intensity short workout routine that is perfect for people who are super-busy. But be warned - this short workout packs a lot of punch.
If you're new to working out, or haven't been to the gym in awhile, give this program a try. It contains modification options depending on your fitness level, and it's designed for newbies so you won't get lost.
This is one of my favorite lunch-hour workouts, since it leaves me enough time to enjoy a salad when I'm finished. It works your whole body, so you won't feel gypped at the end of it.
I inherited my dad's bad knees and my mom's bad ankles, so if you struggle with cardio because of sore joints, I literally feel your pain. This low-impact workout will make it easier to incorporate important cardiovascular exercise into your routine.
If you like knowing exactly what you're accomplishing and you want to do it fast, try this video that will burn 200 calories in just 20 minutes. You may need a nap afterward, but it's worth it.
I've mentioned that I have problems with chronic back pain before, and this video has become one of my go-tos. Stretching is a great way to heal back pain, and this video will show you which moves to focus on for the most relief.
This routine uses your own body weight as resistance while you train. Grab a towel before you start - you're definitely going to sweat during this one.
What are your favorite online fitness resources? How do you keep exercise on your priority list in the winter?