Play It Cool

Submitted by: Sandra Prior

Winter puts a freeze on exercising and enthusiasm levels. Knock the urge to hibernate out cold with these four indoor activities and sports workout plan.

Winter is the time for hibernation – for stocking up on food and sleeping away the dark, cold hours. Unfortunately, it’s also the quickest way to get a large gut. Our solutions? Four indoor sports that will keep you motivated to burn kilojoules and a sports-specific workout that’ll improve your sports skills and transform your body into the athletic build you’ve always wanted.

Three rules to keep you at your fighting weight during winter:

1. Make it Easy to Exercise

An exercise program is only as good as your participation. Choose a sport below that you can do at least once a week with mates. Not only will you enjoy the time with friends, they’ll also help to ensure you attend more often.

2. Give yourself Goals


Whether you want to win the league or drop a pants size, goals will help motivate you during the cold season. The secret? Make them realistic. Also, don’t increase your exercise too quickly, as you’ll head straight for injury. Whether it’s kilometres, speed or weights lifted, increase them by only 10 percent a week.

3. Be Smart with your Eating Plan

Don’t hamstring all your exercise benefits by eating the wrong foods. The best way to control what you eat? Pack your own lunch. Make sure you have plenty of fruit and vegetables, and steer clear of sugary, sweet drinks.

Indoor Soccer


Improves cardiovascular fitness, acceleration, hand-eye coordination, balance and lower leg strength. It’s called the beautiful game, and the intricate mix of stamina, speed and teamwork translates into sublime gameplay on the field. Besides the skills, soccer is a fantastic cardiovascular workout. There is no time to rest during a game and you’ll be performing repeated sprints, with and without the ball. Your ability to recover from intense exercise will improve 100 fold. But the beautiful game is not only about fitness. You’ll become immersed in the tactics and excitement of it all. The indoor version is a lot quicker than the original, and the action is more intense with more goals and skill required on the ball. In a small area not longer than 40m, you’ll be developing your creativity, agility, dribbling skills, anticipation ability, your ability to cope under pressure and decision making.



Improves stamina, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, agility, explosive speed and strength and balance. Continuous movement works the cardio respiratory system and melts kilojoules, while quick anaerobic bursts of jumping, directional changes and fast-breaks build strength and endurance. Besides the speed and strength aspects, you can also use basketball to become more agile. Your flexibility can improve through your hands-up defense and lunges for loose balls. During an intense game of basketball you’re going to be burning between 2 500 and 3 000kJ per hour.

Action Cricket


Improves hand-eye coordination, reflexes, acceleration and balance. Cricket requires explosive running, quick reactions, timing and power, together with complete focus and concentration, as well as excellent hand-eye coordination – and that’s for a five-day test. Package all of that indoors into a space no larger than a couple of cricket nets for over an hour and you’ve got five-day cricket at warp-speed. The skills required are varied, from the speed and flexibility of bowling to the strength and agility of batting. Fielding demands incredible hand-eye coordination and reflexes. If you need to be awakened from your winter slumber, look no further than your local action cricket venue.



Improves hand-eye coordination, cardiovascular ability, explosive speed and strength, reflexes and balance. Rated as the healthiest sport in a survey conducted by the influential business magazine Forbes, it’s the preferred game for weary executives and businessmen. Thirty minutes on the squash court provides an impressive cardio respiratory workout where you burn around 2 000kJ. The cardio burn is not all that you get from squash. Extended rallies and almost constant running builds muscular strength and endurance in your lower body, while lunges, twists and turns increase your agility, coordination as well as flexibility in your back and abdomen. In addition to all the physical benefits, squash has many others including: improved psychological wellbeing, greater self-confidence, self-esteem and improved concentration.

About the Author: Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at


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