Even the most active adults might struggle to get moving once winter hits. Winter’s cold days, long nights, and gloomy snow showers can make staying on the couch all day a very tempting prospect. Fortunately, staying active in winter is easier than you might think. Read on for some tips to maintain your exercise routine even when the weather outside is frightful.
Staying Active in Winter
Benefits to Staying Active in Winter
Before we dig in, let’s address some of the many benefits to staying active in winter. First, working out in cooler temperatures can actually be a downright pleasant experience. Keep in mind that you won’t have to deal with heat or humidity, which means you may be able to push your stamina and work out a little longer than you would in the summer months. Exercising outdoors in the winter is also a great way to get some sunlight, a natural source of mood-boosting vitamin D. Finally, did you know that exercise boosts your immunity during cold and flu season? According to experts at Harvard Medical School, just a few minutes of exercise a day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections.
When in Doubt, Layer Up
Now, let’s get into the cardinal rule of exercising during the winter: layers, layers, layers. With a little preparation, you’ll be comfortable and dry throughout your workout. You’ll also stay safe from cold weather hazards like hypothermia. Start with a base layer made of a thin synthetic material, like polypropelyne, to draw sweat away from your body. From there, you’ll want to add an insulating layer like a fleece. Finally, top off your workout getup with a waterproof outer layer like a coat or parka. You’ll also want to make sure to fully cover your fingers, toes, and ears with gloves, warm socks, and a hat. Finally, if you plan to exercise at night, take additional safety precautions. For example, road runners should always wear a reflective outer layer or vest. You should also invest in slip-proof footwear if you live in an icy area.
So, you’re layered up and ready to get moving outdoors. But what kind of exercise should you prioritize during the winter months? Depending on your climate, you might enjoy sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. If you’d rather not participate in icy sports, you can go for a brisk walk, hike, or jog, or join a local running club. Finally, you can work up a sweat from your own front yard with a leaf-raking or snow-shoveling session.
Get Moving at Home
If you’d rather not exercise outdoors in the winter, we can’t blame you. Still, there are plenty of ways to stay active inside your home this winter. Start by investing in some practical and easy-to-use exercise equipment like a yoga mat, light dumbbells, and an exercise ball. You can use this equipment to design your own home workout circuit, but you can also get a little creative with your at-home workouts. Try dancing to your favorite music or engaging in some active housework like vacuuming. Overall, it doesn’t matter how you move – just that you stay active this winter.
Staying active in winter might seem tough. But with a little planning, you can enjoy a heart-pumping winter workout that will leave you feeling energized and motivated.
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