When it gets cold out and daylight hours are shorter, it’s normal to want to bundle up and stay inside. You might spend more time in front of the TV under a blanket – no one would blame you! But keeping up with activity will only benefit your physical and mental health. Keep Moving your body for 30 minutes every day, and keep reading for tips to stay active when the temperature drops.
When you want to stay inside you still have a lot of options for adding movement to your day.
- Join a class or a team. Group workouts or dance classes can hold you accountable, increase your motivation, and connect you with new people. Indoor sports like basketball, bowling, and racquetball all get you up and moving, and a team always adds accountability and fun.
- Look for a gym you’ll actually go to – there are options beyond rows of treadmills and weight machines! Depending on what is available in your area, enjoy running tracks, swimming pools, indoor cycling, obstacle courses, and climbing walls.
- Shopping can be cardio! Many of us are online shopping this year but indoor malls can be a great place to get some steps in while running errands. While you’re busy getting gifts for others do some extra laps for yourself.
- Still don’t feel like going out? Try a home workout! It’s easy to find a free video you can follow along with. Low-impact, no-equipment cardio exercises still get your heart pumping, and you can get a good sweat going within 20 minutes! Add time and weights to exercises to challenge yourself.
Exercising in the cold
If you don’t mind the cold or bundling up to go out and be active, remember to:
- Layer Up. The right layers can protect you from frostbite and hypothermia. Your first layer should be a synthetic moisture-wicking material. Cotton might feel the coziest to put on when it’s cold out, but cotton material traps the sweat next to your skin and can make you damp and cold. Layer next with a wool or fleece jacket, and finally with a water-resistant coat.
- Wear a hat and scarf, gloves or mittens, and thick socks with water-resistant boots. Choose boots that are large enough to accommodate thicker socks.
- Don’t forget you still need to apply sunscreen in the winter. Snow reflects more of the sun’s UV rays and can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Warm up and stretch before you get into intense activity to reduce your risk of injury.
- You may not feel as thirsty as you get on a hot summer day, but you’re still sweating so stay hydrated!