4 Ways to Stay Physically Active This Winter

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Gone are the beautifully warm and ideal days for jogging and playing sports. They’ve been replaced by cold and darkness.  For many people this change means a decreased interest in exercising and more interest in hot cocoa and the warmth of a wood-burning stove. But you don’t have to hibernate for three months. Here are a few simple tips you can keep exercising this Winter.

Set Small Goals

If you’re busy at work or just on a tight schedule, remember that you don’t have to set aside a huge chunk of time to exercise. You can set exercise over the course of the day. Exercising for shorter periods a few times each day can even be better for your heart rate variability. Setting small goals like this in Winter can help you find the motivation to exercise even on the coldest, darkest days. Try creating an overall goal that you then break down into smaller, achievable steps. If you’d like to run a 5K in the Spring for example, start with shorter jogs in the Winter months and increase your distance as the weather warms.

Invest in New Workout Clothes

If you plan to exercise outside, make sure you acquire the proper attire to cover your skin from the cold and wind. Sweat-wicking layers will help to keep your muscles warm. Dress for weather 25 degrees warmer than the actual temperature to compensate for the rise in body temperature when you run Wear the right shoes to navigate slush, ice and snow. Acquiring new equipment can also help motivate you to make your purchases matter.

Explore New Options

Trying a new activity can be a big motivation to stay active. Sign up for a new class at a gym or join an indoor sports team. There are many indoor activities like volleyball, basketball, soccer and racquetball that you may enjoy without having to go outside. Joining a team may even be a great opportunity to make some new friends. Take a chance on something you haven’t done before.

Embrace the Winter Weather

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean Winter isn’t fun. Skiing, snow-shoeing or sledding are all unique forms of quality exercise that you can’t do any other time of the year. You can more than 450 calories just by ice skating per hour, indoor or out. You can also burn calories simply by playing. Get your heart rate up and have a laugh by making snow angels, building a snowman or having a snowball fight! For a more intense workout try running in the snow.

 

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