Do you have A Hard Time Staying Active in Winter

Even the most dedicated fitness buffs have a hard time staying active when temperatures drop. But there is no such thing as a “low season” for exercise: the most recent guidelines indicate that you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week, even in the worst of winters.

Exercise professionals can help you. This exercise manual from the health and wellness experts at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program offers you some new ideas for staying active during the winter months.

Have you ever wanted to dance salsa? Play racquetball? Join a bowling team? Now is the time. Winter classes and groups not only help you stay active when it’s too cold outside, but they can also revamp your old-fashioned aerobic routine. Attending with a friend or partner makes you responsible and increases your fun.

Studies have shown that people who participate in more social sports activities (rather than other solitary activities like swimming or jogging) can live longer. Tennis, badminton, and soccer players performed the best in terms of life expectancy.

Time to get all your cold weather gear out

Anyone who likes to feel the fresh air and loves the comfort of a warm sweater doesn’t even have to think about it – they can have fun with all the gear and activities they can’t enjoy at any other time of year. We are talking about skating, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.

Bonus Advantage: Studies have shown that people who exercise outdoors, compared to those who exercise indoors, may experience a greater sense of revitalization as well as mood benefits, including decreased anger, tension and depression.

Create your own mini gym at home

When you really don’t want to go out in the cold, do a fun exercise at home. These affordable workout items can help you turn any corner into a home gym.

Yoga mat. When rolled up and stored in your training area, a yoga mat takes up little space but offers a smooth surface for your routine.
Resistance bands. These flexible elastic bands are lightweight, portable, and available in a wide range of lengths and strengths; can help you maintain an effective resistance training program without large weight machines or uncomfortable dumbbells.

Foam rollers. These self-massagers come in a variety of lengths and densities; beginners can start with a medium density one. Using rollers can help you increase flexibility and improve mobility, and help speed muscle recovery after an intense workout.

Support / rollers for cycling. The new bike racks and rollers, which allow you to cycle indoors rather than in the snow, cover a wide range of options for affordability and portability. Both have been shown to help cyclists with their training.

Remember that every minute of activity counts, whether you exercise indoors or outdoors. Sometimes “nearing the finish line” can be enough. Is it too cold for your 30 minute walk outside? Aim for 20. Is it impossible to get out to run your usual 45 minutes due to the snow storm? Instead, go up and down the stairs for just 5-10 minutes.

Recent studies have shown that even 1 or 2 minute periods of intense interval training, such as cycling sprints, done 3 times a week, can improve heart and metabolic health just as much as more moderate 50 minute cycling sessions duration.

We all need to keep moving to improve health, no matter how cold and dark it is outside. But how you choose to spend that time is up to you. Would you be interested in a Bollywood dance class?

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