Health & Wellness

Don’t Let the Weather Deter Your Efforts: 4 Ways to Stay Active During the Winter

Just because it may be cold and dreary outside doesn’t mean you should sacrifice the energy you get from exercise. The truth is this: There are several ways to stay active during the winter!

With a few small tweaks to your regular routine, you can continue getting in some much-needed, stress-busting movement each day. And they’re all quarantine-friendly!

Intrigued? Let’s dive right in and discuss a few ways to stay active during the winter months.

 

4 Ways to Stay Active During the Winter

Here are four great ways to stay active during the winter.

1. Move your routine indoors.

When the weather is just entirely too cold to exercise outdoors, the obvious solution is to find ways to stay active indoors, right?

After all, it’s been well documented that staying outside too long in frigid temperatures increases your risk of frostbite and hypothermia. [1]

But what do you do if you can’t get to the gym (or don’t want to go due to COVID-19 concerns) and don’t have a ton of space inside your home?

Fortunately, with a few simple tweaks, you can still stay active. If you’re usually a runner, you can try some high knees or butt kicks. If you typically go to a Zumba or dance class, put on some lively music and bust a move in your living room.

I have some other creative ways you can be active within your home, but before we dive too deeply into options, let’s take a look at how you can actually take advantage of the cold weather, should you decide to do so.

2. Take advantage of the weather.

If the weather isn’t brutally cold, one of the best ways to stay active during the winter is to enjoy a little time outdoors. And this is especially true if you suffer from seasonal allergies.

According to a 2019 study, exercising in moderately cold temperatures reduced allergy-induced airway inflammation in people suffering from allergic rhinitis and/or asthma. [2]

Another perk of exercising outdoors? You have the opportunity to get some vitamin D, and that’s a big deal, since about 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in this important nutrient. [3]

So, what are a few activities you can do? Well, depending on your fitness level and the weather conditions, it can be anything from skiing or sledding to running or taking the dog for a quick walk. Just make sure to bundle up and incorporate layers.

3. Multitask by combining housework and exercise.

Now that we’ve quickly reviewed a few things you can do outdoors, should you choose to do so, let’s look at a few ways you can stay active indoors while you’re taking care of a few priority items.

Look, (almost) no one really enjoys housework. But what if you could get your housework done and cross off your workout on your list at the same time?

I know it probably sounds too good to be true, but the simple truth of the matter is that it’s absolutely doable. Here’s why—and how!

According to www.caloriecontrol.org, if a 165-pound person vacuums or folds laundry for an hour, he or she will burn 150 calories. That’s the same calorie burn you’d get from walking briskly for 30 minutes. [4]

Meanwhile, going up and down the stairs for a total of 20 to 30 minutes each day also burns 150 calories. And the same goes for cooking, dusting, and most indoor housework.

Now, as a rule, I don’t count calories consumed or burned. As you know, I like to focus on nutrient intake and stress-relieving exercise. But I included the calories burned for the activities above to give you a way to compare the levels of activity.

So, even if you can’t get out of the house, you know there are a few ways you can multitask and reap the benefits of a clean home and movement at the same time!

4. Tap into technology.

Finally, one of the bests ways to stay active during the winter months is to tap into technology.

Here are some great options:

  • Turn on your Wii. If you have a Wii game console, you know there are some great activities you can do. Wii Sports includes simulated tennis, baseball, golf, bowling, and even boxing.
    And if none of those strike your fancy, there are also Wii dance games you can consider purchasing. Options such as Just Dance or Zumba Fitness will definitely give you a workout!
  • Stream your exercise. Regardless of what cable provider or streaming service you use, tap into streaming or On Demand videos. Oftentimes, you’ll find some great workout videos you can try.
    Several even feature free trials, so you can try them first to see if you like them before making a financial commitment.
  • Tap into apps. If you have a smartphone (and most people do!), you’re familiar with the many, many apps out there. But did you know that there are almost 40,000 exercise apps available to download? [X]
    From yoga to high intensity interval training to specific workouts for men and women, there are so many options that you’re almost guaranteed to find a great fit for yourself. There are even apps to help get you from the couch to 5K-ready!
    So, if you’re stuck indoors and searching for ways to stay active, consider browsing through the workout apps and try a few. If nothing else, it’s great to have a back-up option for unexpected times.

 

Ways to stay active - Dr. Pingel

 

Key Takeaways

  • With a few small tweaks to your regular routine, you can continue getting in some much-needed, stress-busting movement each day and find ways to stay active during the winter.
  • A few ways to stay active when it’s cold outside include: taking advantage of the cold weather, moving your routine inside, combining housework and exercise, and using technology to your advantage by utilizing apps.

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