Staying active in winter can be difficult. Cold, slippery conditions limit what we can do, and having an indoor “go to” can keep you happy and healthy.
Transitioning from warm weather to cold can be a shock. Does inclement weather turn you away from staying active? Do you feel more tired, irritable, or sad in winter? Chase away cabin fever with physical activity, indoors, right away. It’s easy to put off exercise and get into a hibernating routine – so don’t do it. Stick to a routine of activity. Set aside a regular time for activity, and you can make it fun (and short)!
Do the necessary things, like chores around the house. Setting “work hours” and daily tasks that require lift and effort are great. You may not like vacuuming, dusting, or cleaning that washroom, so spread it out over days, and spend some of your days doing some fun activities.
With the internet and online videos, you can find music videos to shake to. Not sure how? Search for videos on how to dance, hip-hop, and other easy dance moves.
Not your style? There are many free videos for yoga, workouts without equipment, stretches, and at-home workout routines. Still not motivated? Don’t push yourself too hard, start with short activity sessions. Even 20 minutes a day, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is a great start.
Keep track of your exercise, use your phone and an app that rewards you. Fitness tracking devices are also good motivators, if not good reminders. Be realistic, and don’t start with an activity that gets you winded or hurting.
Thinking of cheating and resting a day or two – no worries, just don’t ever give up. Take note of why you want to stay active and notice the difference you feel after your activity. Stick to your routine for a few weeks and feel the changes. Grab a friend or family member to stay active with you.
Nothing motivates more than having someone close, to stay healthy with you. Don’t forget to change it up. There isn’t one perfect exercise, working all your muscles requires many types of activity.
What can you expect?
Even light indoor activity will lift your mood. Regularly scheduled activity will reduce your daytime fatigue and allow you a more restful sleep.
Yoga and pilates will help your balance, straighten your posture, reduce aches and help you feel alert. Lifting weights will build strong bones and even increase your stamina.
Cycling, stepping, walking, rowing, or jogging indoors are great, but if you don’t have the equipment, you can still imitate the movements and muscle work with exercise bands.
Great workouts don’t require expensive equipment, and motivating exercise gurus are free online. Start small and be creative – ever tried to hold a plank for a whole 1-minute commercial break?