These winter days seem to be intense, long, and bitter cold lately. So how do we go about keeping up with our exercise regimens when we miss our outdoor options?
Of course, one simple option might be to purchase some extra warm exercise attire. If this is your tactic, I commend you. I, for one, have a hard time getting myself outside to exercise in the cold since I so highly enjoy those temperate summer days when I can go on a long bike ride, jog or do some yoga in the sun. For some of us, the warm attire still does not engender an excitement to go outside, even to just get ourselves to the gym.
When it comes down to it, one of the most important factors of exercise is the benefit of increasing blood circulation (Hussain & Cohen, 2018). The fact of the matter is that it is important to keep our body functions moving internally. This increased circulation effect allows your blood to keep doing what it is supposed to be doing. It is circulating in our bodies, bringing oxygen to our extremities, including our muscles, skin and brain.
In fact, some of the stated benefits of keeping up your circulation include healthy heart and arteries functioning, cell growth, organ function, and healthy skin (Boehlke, n.d.). So, the real point is to keep our blood circulation up this winter. If you are like me, needing creative ways to stay fit while staying relaxed and in doors here are some ideas.
That is right. Acupuncture does exactly that! It increases blood flow (Sandberg, 2013). It helps increase the energy flows in our body that can lead to the results of increased circulation already stated. In fact, acupuncture treatment and the resulting increased circulation can help prevent varicose veins, restless leg syndrome and those with type 2 diabetes who struggle with keeping up blood circulation to their extremities.
Just like acupuncture, all you have to do is lay down, relax, and allow the practitioners work their magic. This is an incredible way to get those blood flow hours in without having to go for a run in the bitter cold.
Get out your yoga mat this winter and you do not even have to leave your own home! I know we are often used to schlepping to some yoga class. However, instead wake up on a weekend morning, make yourself some warm tea (yet, another way to increase blood flow–warm drinks and food), and roll out your yoga mat in your living room. There are plenty of Youtube yoga videos, so do not worry about trekking through the cold to go to your regular class.
Forget a shower. Soaking your whole body in a bath will do the trick even more. For extra circulation healing, add in 2 cups of epsom salt and your favorite essential oil. Additionally, use ginger if you really want to increase circulation. You can either add ½ a cup of fresh grated ginger or 1 teaspoon of ginger powder to your bath. This is will increase the overall sweating and detoxification process.
Last but not least, try using a sauna. Saunas have even been used by ancient cultures and provided incredible results. Just like many of the above options, it increases blood flow and sweating which provide great detoxifying effects. Additionally, here are other scientifically based benefits of using a sauna (Hussain & Cohen, 2018):
- Reduces pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis
- Decreases headaches
- Increases sleep
- Fewer sick days
- Detoxification resulting in lessened neurotoxicity
- Reduces risk of dementia
- Addresses Cardiovascular Diseases
Here at Naturna we wish you increased and sustained healthy lifestyle over this winter season! Keep your bodies active by trying these relaxing alternatives to outdoor exercising in the cold.
Boehlke, J (n.d.). Benefits of Increased Blood Circulation. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/323211-benefits-of-increased-blood-circulation/
Hussain, J., & Cohen, M. (2018). Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018.
Sandberg, M., Lundeberg, T., Lindberg, L. G., & Gerdle, B. (2003). Effects of acupuncture on skin and muscle blood flow in healthy subjects. European journal of applied physiology, 90 (1-2), 114-119.