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Brrrr! It’s cold outside! You probably didn’t need me to tell you that. What I can tell you is how important it is to stay active during the winter months, even with Jack Frost nipping at your nose!
4 Reasons to Stay Active in Winter …
1. Beat the winter blues. People tend to be more sad, depressed, or just less lively in winter due to the short days, lower light levels, and less interaction.
2. Keep your metabolism firing. We all tend to eat heartier meals in the winter, with more carbs and less fresh fruit and veggies simply because of seasonal availability being less (particularly local organic produce.)
3. Don’t hide under that sweater! Bulkier clothing tends to hide those extra few pounds brought on by inactivity and more calories… but they creep up on you and leap out yelling, “Surprise!” just as shorts season rolls around in late spring! Staying active through the winter keeps you in shape for the showier clothing seasons ahead.
4. Your Immune system will thank you. Staying active helps your body stay strong and in top shape to outrun or battle bugs from people that try to hack their insidious germs onto you.
4 Ways to Stay Active in Winter …
1. Move it inside! Do some of your favorite outdoor activities inside – swimming, tennis, running, and walking can all be moved inside by finding places that offer indoor venues. You don’t even have to spend a dime to go walking briskly around the mall (although this requires that you don’t also walk briskly through the stores, spending… even if it does exercise your wallet arm!)
2. Play outside! If you live close to fun winter sporting activities like skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing or even snow tubing and sledding, get out there and play! Even having a snowball fight with your family can be a wonderful way to be active and have fun at the same time. Even in winter, most of us live in areas that have days that are moderate enough to get out for a brisk walk if you invest in the right outerwear to be safe, sure-footed, and warm.
3. Find a class! Winter can be an ideal time to find a class through your local Y, a gym, or a parks and recreation organization. Salsa dancing, yoga, kickboxing… what sounds interesting to you?
If you already belong to a gym, find out about spinning classes, water aerobics or other classes you haven’t ever tried, and work those into your winter routine for a change of pace.
4. Be creative! Make up fun games at home for you and your family. Take the laundry upstairs one item at a time so you get a lot of stair work. Have silly relay races, or do exercise versions of “Simon Says” where Simon gives 10 jumping jacks or 5 pushups as part of the game.
Keeping active in the cold months of winter will help you be happy and healthy now… and during all the seasons to come!