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SALT LAKE CITY — Finding motivation and the resources to exercise in the winter — especially during a pandemic — can be challenging, but one Utah woman is getting creative and jumping right into it.
Celeste Miller has been running for most of her life. "I love that it just clears your head and gives you those good endorphins — that runner's high," she said. "It really helps with just overall mood stability and stress relief."
But Miller finds running outside during the winter can sometimes be challenging. "You're watching for snow patches or ice patches, and so your pace is a lot slower," she described. "My motivation level goes down. You get home from work, it's dark, it's cold."
Between less-than-desirable weather conditions and the ongoing pandemic, which has prevented Miller from running on a treadmill at the gym as she usually does in the winter, Miller needed a new way to work out.
So, this winter she is strapping on her watch and shoes, not to run, but to jump — right in her own living room.
"I had to find something else that kind of intrigued me," Miller said.
That's when she bought a mini fitness trampoline after reading about it in a running magazine. "They're very inexpensive. They're super versatile. They fold up so you can put it in a compact space," she said.
She says it's an easy way to exercise. "'Cause you can just watch TV while you're doing it or you can just throw on a video, like a YouTube video," she said.
Miller says this type of exercise, which is also called "rebounding," is easier on her joints but still intense. "It's super fun. It's a really good workout too. My heart rate gets up pretty good and I get sweating pretty good," she said.
Intermountain Healthcare's Devin Vance, an exercise physiologist at the Ogden LiVe Well Clinic, says it's a great form of cardio, which is vital for cardiovascular health.
"It's going to help with maintaining good blood pressure," he said. "With that effort you put in, you're going to put a little bit of strain on your heart, which is going to in turn help it to be stronger."
He says rebounding also makes for effective cross-training. "Being on a trampoline is going to use different muscles than when you're running," he said, including lower body muscles in the legs, glutes, and core. "Then when you go back to running, you're going to be able to use those muscles that you turned on and strengthened more on the trampoline to become a better runner."
Vance says having a strong core can improve someone's posture, balance and coordination.
"Working on something like a trampoline that's bouncy and unstable, you really have to have a strong stable core to be able to support the movement that you're doing," he explained. "The more stable you are in the center, the more balanced you're going to be."
The American College of Sports medicine recommends people get about 150 minutes a week of at least moderate-intensity exercise, according to Vance.
Miller jumps for about 30 minutes several times a week when the weather prevents her from exercising outdoors.
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When it comes down to it, Vance says exercise should be something you look forward to. "If you find something that you enjoy, you're much, much more likely to do it," he said.
For Miller, that's spending a little time in the air. "It's a unique way to get in a little exercise, that's also fun," she said.
She says it's not only benefited her physical health, but also her mental health. "It has helped a lot to just kind of keep your energy level a little bit more normalized with these cold winter months," she explained.
"The more active you are, the more of those endorphins that you're going to get," Vance added. "Don't be embarrassed to try something new… It could turn out to be really fun and something that you enjoy."
For more ideas on how to work out at home, visit livewellcenter.org/healthyathome or schedule a one-on-one appointment with a LiVe Well expert at any of Intermountain Healthcare's LiVe Well Centers including the newest center now open in Ogden.