Staying Active in the Cold

Winter can be a more challenging time to keep ourselves moving and motivated! Naturally, during the cold weather months, we feel the need to hibernate, retreat indoors, and cuddle under a cozy blanket! On the other hand, January usually brings new perspectives and motivation to work on new health goals in the New Year. Exercise is also important to boost our immune system to help fight against common winter illnesses such as the Flu. So how can we get ourselves moving during the cold months?

Physiologically speaking it’s actually safer to exercise in the cold vs. the heat because our body will generate heat as we exercise. The main concern while exercising outdoors is to protect the skin. Dress in layers that can be removed if you get too warm. Wear a moisture-wicking base layer that will wick away sweat and keep you dry while layering on top fleece and maybe a water-repellent outer layer. Being outdoors in the cold especially if the sun is shining can be a great mood booster, bring in some needed vitamin D from the sun, and provide you a burst of energy from that brisk air! Here are some activities for outdoor fun!

  • Walk or hike. Walking after a fresh snow can be quite peaceful just be careful of ice!
  • Going for a jog
  • Shoveling snow (this is not recommended if you have a known cardiac history such as a prior heart attack)
  • Go Ice Skating or sledding
  • Skiing or Snowboarding
  • Cross Country Skiing or Snowshoeing

 

If going outside during the cold is not your thing that’s ok too! There are a lot of ways to keep moving indoors. Here are some ideas for you to keep yourself moving through the winter!

  • Home workout circuit. There are a ton of guided exercise circuits or classes either on platforms such as YouTube or fitness apps such as the Nike Training Club app or Peloton. There are even some ideas on Pinterest or TikTok to give you some inspiration. 
  • Dance! Put on some upbeat music and dance around
  • Housework such as vacuuming, mopping, or sweeping are great to keep you from being sedentary
  • Walk at an indoor location that offers lots of space such as a mall, Costco, or Home Depot! These spaces offer lots of areas to get your steps in while being much warmer than outside! Many malls even have mile markers in them because walkers are very common in that space!
  • Go Bowling
  • Try yoga, Pilates, or other group fitness activity
  • Try a rock climbing gym
  • Stair climbing

 

Whatever activity you choose to do just remember that the more you move, the more you improve!