It’s cold, it’s wet, and you just want to curl up on the couch with a hot drink and a book. It can be hard to keep up a healthy lifestyle when it’s cold outside, but it’s not impossible. Here’s why you need to stay active and some tips to help you get back in the swing of things!
There are benefits to exercising year round, but some are unique to winter. If you exercise outdoors in the sun, you are boosting your vitamin D, which can drop naturally in the winter due to fewer daylight hours. According to the CDC, daily exercise during the winter can also improve your immunity to things like colds and flu and other bacterial infections.
If your exercise of choice is walking, you can walk almost anywhere! We’ve all seen the “mall walkers” before, and although some might think they are silly, they’re getting their exercise in and staying out of the elements! Don’t be afraid to try out a new activity like mall walking. Other indoor activities include following workout videos at home, indoor swimming and other gym activities, climbing stairs on your work break, and more. If you do decide to exercise out of doors, make sure to wear the warmest clothes you can, stay hydrated, and make the most of daylight hours. If exercising outside at night, wear reflective clothing to stay safe.
Winter is notorious not only for the colder weather, but also for increased loneliness and depression. A great way to combat this is by joining a group exercise class! You don’t have to go to a paid gym to find these classes. They may be available for free from your community’s recreation center. Whichever gym you choose to go to, you will be sure to find exercise classes that suit your interests. You will get your body moving and may even make new, like-minded friends.
Winter is a season packed with holidays, and with the holidays comes rich foods and drink. It can be tempting to just give up on trying to eat healthy, especially when all you want to do is hibernate and eat comfort food in the warmth of your home. However exercise must be used in conjunction with diet in order to have observable healthy benefits to your life. Getting enough sleep is also paramount to keeping up a healthy lifestyle. You might feel less inclined to get your body moving in the winter, but it is truly the best thing you can do for your overall health and wellness!