As the days get shorter and colder, it’s harder to find the time or energy to run outside or even make the trek to the closest gym. Yet, it is more important now than ever to stay active and energized, to help fight off sickness or the desire to hibernate. Luckily, you don’t need to go far out of your way to fit a workout into your busy schedule. Here are 5 more ways to work a little exercise into your (cold) day-to-day life:
Exercise 1: Shivering
Reps: Until you show signs of hypothermia? Recommended: 20-min sets.
Where/when: On your way to class, in the middle of the night, anytime. In the SciLi/CIT wind tunnel for the hardcore gym rats.
Muscle groups exercised: Full body cardio.
How to do it: As you may have learned in AP or IB Bio, when your core temperature falls, the body compensates by shivering, increasing heat production by rapid contraction/relaxation of muscles. Capitalize on this heat mechanism by walking around outside naked or in your underwear. Your body will respond by shivering, kicking those excess calories to the curb.
Exercise 2: Cough crunches
Reps: Until you throw up or get tackled and led to Health Services. Suggested: 20 coughs per set.
Where/when: Anytime, anywhere, preferably on other people.
Muscle groups exercised: Abs.
How to do it: Ever notice how your abs hurt after a good coughing fit? Capitalize on this by coughing a lot to get a good ab workout in. Each cough equals a crunch. Cough specifically on other people. Ignore the glare they’ll probably give you. You’re getting swole, and they’re just jealous. Plus, it’ll almost certainly help them discover your effective new exercise technique for themselves!
Exercise 3: Ice cream calorie-busters
Reps: (Size of ice cream)/(Average bite size).
Where/when: In your bed, crying; alone in Ben & Jerrys; while solo-eating in the Ratty; or perhaps in some type of social setting.
Muscle groups exercised: Aerobic exercise.
How to do it: You know how in a survival scenario you’re not supposed to eat snow as a source of water, because your body takes so much energy to warm it up? Use this concept to your advantage as a weight-loss technique. Eat tons of ice cream and give your body a workout as it tries to heat it up on its way down. This makes total sense and is a calorie-buster, guaranteed.
Exercise 4: Brain puzzlers
Reps: At least 5 a day.
Where/when: Instead of doing homework, during class, in the shower.
Muscle groups exercised: Your mind.
How to do it: You can do this exercise in the warm indoors! Do some fun brain puzzlers to strengthen and condition your gray matter. Do some sudoku, riddles, crossword puzzles, and word games. Decipher some optical illusions to really push yourself. Now think about some harder questions. Channel your inner Willow and Jaden Smith. What is time? Does thought require language? Which has more power, love or fear? Does free will exist? Why is it that Goofy can speak and wear clothes while Pluto can’t?
Exercise 5: Walking to class
Where/when: On your way to class.
Muscle groups exercised: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves.
How to do it: Before the actual snow hits, take advantage of the cold but relatively decent weather by walking everywhere. “But I already do that!” you say. Not enough. Walk to class, but don’t stop walking. Your class is in B&H 166? Saunter into the building, stroll down the hall, and stride right past the door. Step out of the building and don’t stop moving. Don’t go to class. Jaunt around Simmons Quad. Parade through the Rock. Trek across the Main Green. March right out of Providence to somewhere warmer. Never stop walking. Burn all those calories.
Now for some actual advice: There are many opportunities to get in a workout away from the cold. Nelson Fitness Center is open for its fall semester hours Monday –Friday 5:30am to midnight, Saturday and Sunday 7am to 9pm. (Closed on Thanksgiving and with adjusted hours Fri. 11/28). The three satellite gyms, Keeney, EmWool, and the Bear’s Lair, are open Monday – Friday 6am to midnight, Saturday and Sunday 9am to midnight.
The OMAC’s indoor track, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and badminton courts have open hours when not used for varsity practices. The Coleman Aquatics Center in Nelson hosts open swim hours every day of the week. Brown students can reserve squash courts for free through Brown Rec here. Check out group fitness classes offered by Brown Rec, open by seasonal/annual passes or on a drop-in basis.
Stay fit, Brunonia!