How to Stay Active in the Winter
Staying active in the winter months is hard. Between the biting cold and fewer hours of sunlight it can be really challenging to get motivated and go outside. Even worse, staying inside and isolating yourself can have a major impact on your mental health. However, that does not mean winter activity can't be fun. Plus, there are yearlong benefits if you can successfully overcome cold weather sluggishness.
Curious how? For starters, you can get ahead of the game. The colder months offer a great opportunity to build strength and confidence. Get your body right and prepare to show off all the hard work once the temperatures increase.
Additionally, intaking fresh air helps regulate body function more efficiently. Staying fit supports your immune system when cold and flu germs spread more readily. Plus, 30-minutes of exercise can help keep food cravings at bay all day.
To find the motivation needed to stay active this winter, consider implementing a few of the following tips:
Set Exercise Goals
Goal setting can be a major motivator, especially if there is a fun reward at the finish line. Make sure the goals are measurable and realistic. Celebrate even small victories to see the biggest impact on your motivation levels.
Stay Warm and Stay Safe
It's important to dress appropriately for the cold temperatures, especially when doing outdoor workouts. Bundling up and wearing a few extra outer layers can go a long way to keeping you warm and dry and maintaining your body heat.
Find a Workout Buddy
Regular exercise with a friend is always more fun. Even if you can’t be physically together while working out, sharing your goals and progress with a buddy is satisfying. The best buddies can hold you accountable.
Mix Up How You Workout
Colder temperatures and snowy conditions might force you inside. Go with the flow and change your workout routine to try something new. While incorporating a different exercise option into your rotation, keep up the intensity. Don't be afraid to try something new either. Something like water aerobics at an indoor pool might be just the jump start you need.
Adopt Healthy Habits
Resets can happen any time of year. This new season offers a chance to reimplement healthy habits into your routine. Get enough sleep. Fuel your body with nutritious foods. Lean proteins, whole grains, and a diet full of fruits and vegetables are the best place to start. Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids when doing any amount of physical activity.
Stay Positive as You Stay Active
The toughest part of exercising can be finding the motivation to start. Keep a positive mindset. Attitude can be the biggest factor in improving your overall health any time of the year. When you feel good on the inside, it’s easier to be active. Positivity can get you back on track when you’re working to overcome a slip-up.
The most important thing to remember when staying active is to have fun. It's not how you exercise, but that you are exercising. Everyone has their own pace or limitations, but we're all working on the same goal of self-improvement. So, whether you're going extreme and taking on cross country skiing, trying to ice skate for the first time, or just walking around the block with a good friend, the point is you are trying!
Join the discussion on social media about how you are staying active this winter. Use the hashtag #ActiveWithOptionRx to share your progress.
Celebrate American Heart Health Month by identifying symptoms of heart disease and improving your diet and exercise routine.