Tips To Help You Stay Active and Healthy During the Winter:
Updated: Jan 31
Nothing says winter like warm blankets, comfort foods and binge watching your favorite show. However, colder weather and the COVID-19 pandemic don’t give you an excuse to turn into a couch potato.
The winter months can be a challenging time to stick to an exercise plan. The weather is dreary, the daylight hours are shorter and other priorities can make it hard to establish a routine. While exercise in winter may be tough, it is very important for health.
And let’s be honest, you and I both know that a lack of movement can lead to stiffness and unwanted pain, which can get in the way of your day-to-day life.
So with that in mind, let’s look at what you could possibly do to stay active during the winter time and reduce the risk of experiencing stiffness this season – here are some of the tips I give my patients:
1. Go for the goals! Remember why you are doing what you are doing. Do you want to be able to play with your grandchildren? Do you want to be able to walk the dog farther? Do you want to feel healthier? By starting with your goals at the forefront of your mind, you are more likely to succeed.
2. Add exercise to daily activities. Adding an exercise to any daily activity can help you add movement to your day. You can add squats while waiting on the microwave. Stand on one foot while brushing your teeth. Perform heel raises while washing the dishes.
3. Embrace gentle movements. It’s easy to make healthy habits by distracting yourself. For example, I often have patients tell me that they dread using their exercise bikes. I often suggest gently riding the exercise bike while watching their favorite show – you’ll love how easy this one is to do. The key is to find something that you enjoy and to get your body moving gently so that you keep yourself fit and healthy.
4. Try a fitness app or online program. There are many free options online for you to choose from. These include everything from yoga to body wright and dance exercises. Try something new!
5. Partner up! Enlist your friends and family as exercise partners. Set a date to meet a friend at the gym or even on “zoom” and you’re more likely to follow through. Instead of meeting up for a meal or coffee, consider an exercise date. Exercise can be social and fun.
6. Pencil it in. Be deliberate about scheduling exercise and fitting it in, even when you’re busy. Writing exercise in your calendar makes it part of your schedule and can help you achieve your fitness goal. Try tracking your exercise in a log as seeing your achievements and progress will be very motivating.