Stay Active This Winter

As temperatures drop, our enthusiasm for physical activity often drops as well. After all, it’s less fun to go out for a jog, a bike ride, or just a little fun in the backyard if the air is damp and the skies are gray. Even getting into the car to go to the gym has less appeal than hunkering down under a blanket and taking it easy.

But exercise is too important for your health to put it on hold until the spring sun comes back out, and you’ll likely be frustrated with yourself in the spring if you’ve got to shed extra pounds or recover lost fitness. So, how do you keep moving when the weather tells you to stay put? Think of it as a two-part process: motivation and smart exercise.

Get Motivated: For many people, exercising isn’t the problem; it’s starting to exercise that’s a big challenge. So, how do you get yourself moving in the first place?

  • Remember why. For starters, think about how you’ll feel after your workout. Remember that you’re happier when you’re in better shape, and you get a lot of satisfaction out of a good workout.
  • Recruit a buddy. Having a workout partner makes you look forward to workouts, and it makes you less likely to skip an exercise session.
  • Get new gear. Working out is more fun if you treat yourself to new gear. You don’t have to spend a lot; just get something that adds a little freshness to your routine.

Workout Smart: Now that you’re motivated, get out there, and go…wisely.

  • Be bold, get cold. Don’t avoid the cold air, embrace it. You’ll actually burn more calories and strengthen internal operations… but take care. Know your limits, dress appropriately for cold air, and be especially cautious if you experience breathing difficulties.
  • Take up a winter sport. Ice skating, skiing, and even sledding can give you a great excuse for getting out and getting active. Added bonus: they can be wonderful family activities.
  • Seek out the sun. Darkness tends to dampen our enthusiasm for physical activity, and it also makes outdoor exercise more dangerous. Getting out in the sunshine, on the other hand, encourages exercise and reduces the chances that you’ll slip and fall. So, workout when the sun’s out. A bonus: the sunshine will give you a dose of vitamin D.
  • Workout at home. If you really hate the idea of going out, then make your home your workout facility. Get some basic exercise equipment, queue up some helpful videos, and build fitness into your daily routine.

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