In most parts of the world, warmer seasons lend well to walks in the park, runs around the neighbourhood, hikes over nearby trails, and rides along bike paths. Unfortunately, for our new year’s resolutions, the cold of winter brings most of these activities to a screeching – or freezing – halt.
It certainly doesn’t help that our motivation tends to fall with the temperatures, which isn’t helped by skies that are perpetually gray. Spending all day bundled up in front of the television becomes an attractive premise. However, that doesn’t mean you should put your fitness goals on hold and hibernate until the ice thaws.
Staying physically active in winter isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here are 6 tips to help you make it happen.
Embrace the Cold
As any strength and conditioning specialist will tell you, there’s nothing wrong with working out in the cold as long as you’re dressed for the occasion. In fact, your body and mind will reap the benefits. Exposing yourself to cooler climates activates your metabolism and puts it in overdrive to generate more body heat. Additional advantages include:
- Strengthening your immune system for the flu season
- Increased calorie burning
- Improved heart strength
- Higher lung capacity
- Better tolerance to low temperatures
Aim to stay active during daylight hours as you’ll be less likely to skip a session. Plus, exercising under the sun can ensure that you receive sufficient vitamin D, which may improve your mood along with several other benefits.
Clean Your Home
If there was ever a perfect opportunity to finally declutter and organize your living space, it’s now.
Create a list of everything that you need to do around the house, along with a daily routine to keep things clean. While you’re at it, incorporate some bends, squats, and runs where possible. You don’t have to break a massive sweat – simply moving around and cutting down your sedentary time will make all the difference.
Don’t Stop Sports
While the usual fields and courts may be out of bounds, you can stay on top of your game and practice your favorite sport in other ways. For instance, golfers can use a simulator at home to keep their swing up, while most ball games can be practiced indoors to some degree depending on what your neighbors will think of the noise.
Walk the Mall
This common suggestion has potential benefits that go beyond bumping up your step count. You can also use your walks as an opportunity to discover free fitness events that are happening nearby. Most athletic apparel stores, including Lorna Jane and Lulemon, are known to host fitness classes with professional instructors before starting the day.
This can serve as a handy way to learn new techniques and get expert guidance without making a financial commitment. Plus, you may become eligible for in-store discounts, not to mention the friends you can meet along the way.
Try Hot Yoga
Unsavory weather is known to make people feel sad, sluggish, and sapped of energy. An increasingly popular antidote to the winter blues is hot yoga. Like any form of activity, hot yoga is perfect for staying active, flexible, and motivated. It’s known to reduce stress, increase metabolism and boost your strength, as well as improving your balance.
There are many other solutions for staying physically active in winter. It’s up to you to think outside of the box a little and figure out what you enjoy doing most. From active volunteering to indoor sports to home workouts and beyond, you’ll never run out of options.
With the right attitude and a variety of activities, you can get even fitter this winter. All you have to do is start.