Kneeling crocodile is a great way to build back and abdominal strength. If you find discomfort in your wrists, try practicing this on your forearms.

Kneeling crocodile is a great way to build back and abdominal strength.

Fit Fun February

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (January 26, 2021)-- It’s dark outside before you go to bed. You wake up and Still dark! Temperatures ranging from high twenties to single digits – who wants to head outside for a run?

While winter sports are fun for many and a fantastic workout, they are not always the best or safest choice. Short days, icy roads… even hail might just have you wanting to stay in bed! Staying active in winter is a challenge. The great news is, there are lots of indoor workout options available, and many require little more than a bit of space and your body to make it happen.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned fitness enthusiast or someone who’d like to incorporate more movement into their days, you don’t have to wait for warm weather to get going,” shares Heather Gregory, EFNEP Nutrition Educator at Chautauqua County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Changing your workout routine helps you strengthen muscle groups that support the movement you most enjoy and will help you be more ready for getting outside on the regular once the weather breaks. “It’s good to incorporate several different types of movement to keep all your body’s structural systems supporting each other,” Heather explains.

Fast-paced moves get your heart pumping and burn calories. If you have space, think about walking laps in any open space available in your home. If you are headed downstairs, consider taking a few trips instead of one! Create your own movement circuit that incorporates running or walking a lap, going up/downstairs, followed by a set of jumping jacks or any move you like. How many times can you get through it?

Strength moves build muscles and bones, and you do not need weights to do them! Your own body weight is enough to get you started. Try doing some wall pushups, leg lifts, and even holding a plank pose on your forearms and knees until your abdomen and back (your core is both the front and back of your body) can support your weight with your knees lifted.

Stretching helps lengthen and relax muscles to make them more resilient. Try hinging forward from your waist and reaching for your toes (keep a soft bend in your knee to protect your hamstrings). Sitting in a chair or on the floor, you can reach across your body with your arms for a gentle spinal twist. Or try reaching your hands behind your back – even if they do not connect – think about relaxing your shoulders and feeling your chest expand.

Last, and definitely not least, build in a play day! Get your kids involved in a fun game – even if you are playing catch with a balled-up sock. It is a great way to enjoy some movement and connect with your family.

“We love teaching fun ways to move, right along with simple ways to eat more healthfully,” Heather says. We are declaring this next month #FitFunFebruary! Find us on Facebook – we are Nutrition Educators of CCE Chautauqua County. We will share movement tips all month. We want everyone to join in on the fun. Begin in February and keep it going!”

The EFNEP Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Last updated January 27, 2021