When it gets cold, it can be very tempting to “hibernate.” Many people don’t want to go
outside, and then become less active. Combine this with holiday feasting and you have a
recipe for a little too much of yourself. One recent survey found that 58% of adults in
the United States exercise less in the winter. So, how can you stay active during the
Indoor Winter Activities
One option is to move your exercise indoors! If you have a gym membership, it can pay
for itself this time of year. Or, you can exercise at home with a few pieces of equipment
such as weights and a mat. You might consider even investing in a treadmill.
Try a new fitness class. Starting a new activity, such as Pilates or Zumba, can help you
get out of the workout rut. YouTube has a wealth of workouts to watch, copy, or take
pieces from. If you have access to an indoor pool, consider swimming or water aerobics.
Throw on some music and have a dance party, or do push-ups during commercial breaks
of your favorite TV show.
Outdoor Winter Activities
Don’t be afraid to go outside and play in the snow! While running and cycling aren’t an
option, you might be able to rent snowshoes, which can be a great workout. If you
routinely cycle, consider switching to cross-country skiing for the winter; it’s a fantastic
full body workout. Hike on local park trails, or get into a snowball fight with your kids.
If all else fails, walk around the block with a mug of hot chocolate. Maybe go check out
that neighbor who always has the fantastic lights display. If your local town has a winter
market or lights display, you can also use that as an excuse to get out and go for a walk.
Why Winter Activity is Important
Remember, any amount of physical activity makes a difference. According to federal
Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should have at least 150 minutes of exercise a week,
while kids and teens need 60 minutes a day.
Getting outside, even in the cold, and soaking in some vitamin D has both mental and
physical benefits. Exercise reduces stress, boosts your mood, and helps manage weight.
Staying indoors and not seeing the sun can exacerbate feelings of seasonal depression,
or “the winter blues.” If getting outside isn’t an option, remember that household chores
and at-home workouts are just as good for you!
For more help and advice on how to stay active this winter and get and stay
healthy, browse the rest of our HealthySD content.