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Groups of people riding sleds in a row in the snow

Ways to Stay Active During the Winter

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.