Just because the temperature has plummeted doesn’t mean exercise can fall by the wayside. Daily physical activity requirements don’t change just because the weather does. That means even in winter months, adults should be exercising for at least thirty minutes every day. For children, the recommendations rise to an hour per day.
Follow these tips will help to avoid a winter exercise rut and stay healthy until the sun comes out again.
- Switch to a brisk walk: Plenty of everyday places make acceptable walking trails without having to bundle up and head outside. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends walking in a local mall or walking around an office building on a lunch or coffee break.
- Take the stairs: A minor lifestyle adjustment can have a major impact. Instead of heading for an escalator or elevator, take the stairs when it’s feasible. This will sneak in an unexpected workout without having to set any extra time aside.
- Try a new activity: New exercise trends proliferate all the time. Whether it’s something traditional like yoga or kickboxing, or something unique and trendy like sandbox fitness, a new exercise class is a good way to remain inside and still get excited about physical activity in the winter.
- Choose free fitness: For those who are used to a quick jog outside and don’t want to spend any cash on exercise classes, a number of free YouTube classes exist. Most local libraries also have free workout DVDs.
- Get started on spring cleaning: Certain household activities will burn calories and help to meet exercise requirements. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends vacuuming, cleaning closets and washing windows.
- Warm up first: For those who are determined to brave the cold for a workout, warming up inside can make a big difference. “Take five to 10 minutes and do some low-level aerobic exercise like jogging in place or doing jumping jacks,” Richard Cotton, an exercise physiologist and spokesman for the American Council on Exercise, told WebMD. “That way, when you step outside, you’ll already be warm.”
- Keep it fun: Reluctance to head outside in the frigid temperatures is understandable, but certain games and activities will make it more enjoyable. Get kids and adults together for a snowball fight, ice skating or sledding to get in some exercise while enjoying the snow.