SALT LAKE CITY – Finding the motivation and resources to exercise in the winter – especially during a pandemic – can be a challenge, but a Utah woman gets creative and jumps right into it.
Celeste Miller has been walking for most of her life. “I love that it just clears your head and gives you those good endorphins – that runner is high,” she said. “It really only helps with general mood stability and stress relief.”
But Miller sometimes finds it difficult to run outside in winter. “You’re looking for patches of snow or ice, so your pace is much slower,” she said. “My motivation is dropping. You come home from work, it’s dark, it’s cold.”
Between less than desirable weather conditions and the ongoing pandemic that kept Miller from running on a treadmill at the gym like winter, Miller needed a new way to exercise.
This winter, she buckles on her watch and shoes, not to run, but to jump – right in her own living room.
“I had to find something else that fascinated me,” Miller said.
Then she bought a mini fitness trampoline after reading it in a running magazine. “They’re very cheap. They’re super versatile. They fold up so you can fit them in a small space,” she said.
She says it’s an easy way to exercise. “Because you can just watch TV while you do or just watch a video like a YouTube video,” she said.
Miller says that this type of exercise, also known as “rebounding,” is gentle on your joints but is still intense. “It’s great fun. It’s also a really good workout. My heart rate is rising pretty well and I’m sweating pretty well,” she said.
Celeste Miller will either jump while watching her favorite show or pull up a training video on YouTube to follow. (Photo: KSL TV)
Devin Vance of Intermountain Healthcare, an exercise physiologist at Ogden LiVe Well Clinic, says it’s a great form of cardio that is vital to cardiovascular health.
“It will help maintain good blood pressure,” he said. “With this effort, you will put a little strain on your heart, which in turn will help make it stronger.”
He says that rebounding also leads to effective cross training. “Being on a trampoline requires different muscles than running,” he said, including the lower body muscles in the legs, glutes, and core. “Then when you get back to running, you can use the muscles that you activated and made stronger on the trampoline to become a better runner.”
According to Vance, having a strong core can improve a person’s posture, balance, and coordination.
“When you’re working on a trampoline that is bouncy and unstable, you really have to have a strong stable core to support the movement you’re making,” he explained. “The more stable you are in the middle, the more balanced you will be.”
The American College of Sports Medicine, according to Vance, recommends that people exercise at least moderate intensity for about 150 minutes a week.
Miller jumps for about 30 minutes several times a week when the weather prevents her from exercising outdoors.
When it comes down to it, Vance says exercise should be something to look forward to. “If you find something you enjoy, you are much more likely to do it,” he said.
For Miller, that means spending some time in the air. “It’s a unique way to do some exercise. It’s fun too,” she said.
She says this is good for not only her physical but also mental health. “It helped a lot in keeping your energy levels a little bit more normal during those cold winter months,” she explained.
“The more active you are, the more endorphins you will get,” added Vance. “Don’t be ashamed to try something new … It might turn out to be very fun and something you enjoy.”
For more ideas on how to exercise at home, see livewellcenter.org/healthyathome Or, schedule a personal appointment with a LiVe Well expert at one of Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well centers, including the newest center now opening in Ogden.