There’s a reason nature goes into hiding in the winter. Insects die off, bears hibernate, chipmunks tuck themselves away in cozy underground nests, and trees shed their leaves — all because cold conditions are the very opposite of what most living things need to thrive. Though we don’t have the luxury of sleeping through the snowy season (if only!), this same principle applies to humans.
Winter is a time when we slow down, celebrate the holidays with our loved ones, and stuff our bellies full of delicious dinners and decadent desserts. While it’s good to indulge, we all know how important staying active is for our health. But keeping up your energy and exercise is difficult during winter — and it can feel near impossible when you’re confined to a small apartment with no motivation to face the chill just to get to the gym.
Many apartment dwellers, including those in Country Classics communities, relate to this problem. So today, we’re sharing our tips on how to stay active and exercise in a small apartment!
Why is it Important to Stay Active During Winter?
Have you ever heard of SAD? We’re not just talking about being sad; we’re talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression or, more colloquially, the winter blues.
Symptoms of SAD can manifest as lack of concentration, overeating, low energy, hopelessness, and generally feeling down. Almost everyone has experienced some form of these symptoms during winter, usually caused by a lack of serotonin-inducing sunlight and vitamin D in far-from-the-equator communities.
Staying active socially and engaging in apartment exercises can help minimize the bad feelings winter can bring. Keeping up your activity level in winter is also important to help reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type-two diabetes, and other common health issues.
How Can I Exercise Without Disturbing My Neighbors?
If you’re asking this question, you’re a considerate neighbor. From apartment renters everywhere, we thank you! You get a gold star.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure you engage in a neighborhood and apartment-friendly workout.
Workout at an Appropriate Time
Though it may be tempting to sneak in a quick 9 p.m. cardio session, your downstairs neighbor will curse you for it. If you’re going to do a louder workout that includes burpees, jumping jacks, or mount climbers, be sure to do it during the day or early evening when most people can block out the noise with a favorite T.V. program or playlist.
If you want to go above and beyond, ask your neighbors what their schedule is like (since not everyone works the same hours) and if there’s a time when your racket won’t bother them so much.
Try Quiet Cardio
Of course, you can work out in a way that doesn’t cause a raucous. There are plenty of exercise options for those wondering how to do cardio in an apartment. Planks are a great — and silent — way to get your whole body shaking. You can also try wall sits, squats, bicycle crunches, and lunges.
Yoga: A Silent, But Deadly Workout
Yoga is one of the quietest and best apartment workouts around. It doesn’t require lots of jumping around or clanging weights; you only need yourself, a mat, and a little determination.
Yoga allows you to tone and build muscle, improve flexibility, and master balance. It also includes deep breathing, which is excellent for calming your nervous system. For this reason, yoga is also beneficial to your mental health and can be a two-in-one way to reduce SAD symptoms while taking care of your physical health.
If you’re interested in trying yoga, look up some beginner videos on YouTube (Yoga with Adriene is one of the most popular yoga channels), and don’t get upset when your poses don’t look like the yoga instructor's. Everyone has to start somewhere!
Tone Your Muscles with Small Space Exercises
You don’t need tons of bulky exercise equipment to get a good workout. Check out these apartment exercises to see how you can break a sweat in your small space.
How Do You Stay Active in an Apartment?
We’ve touched on a few apartment workouts you can use to stay active. But the biggest challenge of working out in an apartment isn’t necessarily completing the exercises; it’s drudging up the motivation to do them in the first place.
Motivate yourself with these ideas:
Set a Routine
Setting a routine makes it way more likely that you’ll actually get in your desired amount of exercise.
Start by finding your favorite ways to work out — you’ll be way more likely to follow through if you enjoy the activity. Then, consider your schedule and fitness goals to determine how many days you want to exercise and for how long.
If you’re just beginning a fitness program, don’t set your goals too high — that’s just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, create a routine that you can easily achieve, and once you feel you’re ready, you can increase the amount of activity.
Take the Stairs
Taking the stairs is one of the simplest ways to sneak in a quick exercise. Simply use the stairs instead of the elevator when entering and leaving your apartment. If you want, you can even run up and down stairs for a cardio workout — just be careful not to knock over any neighbors!
Visit the Fitness Center
Some apartments have fitness centers, which are fantastic resources. A workout center allows you to get out of your apartment and socialize with other building residents, all while getting your sweat on.
Check out this virtual fitness center tour from our community, 745 Hamilton, to get an idea of what yours might encompass. Our facility offers free WiFi, ellipticals, weights, and a yoga studio with virtual classes — all included in our residents’ monthly rent.
Cultivate a Personal Workout Space
A dedicated exercise space can do wonders when implementing your fitness routine. Carve out a small corner of your area — whether behind the living room couch or next to your bed — where you can easily store and pull out your workout gear.
Speaking of gear, it’s a good idea to invest in workout clothes, weights, a yoga mat, and other exercise-related materials, so you have everything you need to be successful. You can even consider getting a personal bike, weight machine, or treadmill.
Wait, can I have a treadmill in my apartment?
Well, that depends on the apartment. Usually, the answer is yes. Just check with your complex before buying any huge machinery.
Partner with a Pal
Staying active in your social life during winter is just as crucial as being physically active. Accomplish both, and improve your motivation by finding a workout buddy. Whether it’s a neighbor you meet in the fitness center or a friend you invite to your apartment, exercising with people you like is good for the body, mind, and soul.
Find a Workout-Friendly Apartment Near You
Excellent fitness facilities aren’t just exclusive to our 745 Hamilton complex. Our two other communities — Fairway 28 and Harrison Square — have workout centers so wonderful that staying active this winter will be easier than ever!