Staying Active During Winter
November 12, 2018
As the weather gets colder it’s often hard to find motivation to stay active. Along with the holidays, there is no telling how drastic you're eating habits will change. The temptation to curl up with a cozy blanket gets stronger and fitness goals start to suffer. However, the World Health Organization recommends that all adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week1, and that doesn’t change just because it’s cold outside! Plus, exercise is linked with improved mood2, so it’s a great way to stay happy even when it’s gloomy. Here are a few tips to help keep you moving this winter.
Indoor Winter Workout Activities
When it’s icy and well below freezing, going outside is low on the priority list. Luckily, there’s a lot of options for staying active indoors! If it’s one of those days where leaving the house just isn’t an option, try one of these instead:
Crank up your favorite music and dance! Dancing is a great aerobic exercise and it will warm you up in no time.
Find something to clean. Whether it’s vacuuming, wiping down counters, or tidying up, cleaning is a great way to be active while also feeling productive.
Set up a home gym. With a few weights, a yoga mat, and maybe a pull-up bar, you can create your very own home gym for a quick workout whenever you need a fitness boost.
And to go along with that…
Search for workout videos on YouTube. There are thousands of free workout videos available online. If you don’t have any equipment search for “bodyweight exercises”; you can still get a great workout using nothing but your own body!
Outdoor Winter Exercise Activities
If you’re going a little stir-crazy staying inside all winter, there are plenty of options outside. Make sure to layer up if it’s really cold.
Tip: wearing several thinner layers allows you to shed them one at a time as you start to warm up.
Go for a hike. Although hiking seems like a summer activity, many hikes on established trails are an entirely different kind of beautiful in the winter. Make sure to bring enough water; you still need to stay hydrated even if it’s cold outside!
Try a new winter sport. If you live somewhere with snow, there are many to choose from – skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing are just a few options.
Look for a local ice-skating rink. Ice skating or hockey are fun ways to develop a new skill (or brush up on an old one!) while burning a few calories.
Find a local holiday 5k and sign up with someone you know. Whether you choose to run or walk, it’s a great opportunity to push yourself or make memories with a friend.
Other Winter Workout Tips
If you’re struggling to stay motivated, find an accountability partner – someone who will either exercise with you, or who checks in on you to see how you are doing. Setting a goal (big or small) can also help keep you going. Also try setting a specific time each day to do something active.
If you need a different kind of boost, Pharmanex® offers a few different supplements to support an active lifestyle regardless of the time of year:
Exercise Performance. OverDrive is formulated to support multiple aspects of exercise performance and recovery, so it’s perfect to take before and after a workout.
Quick Energy. Instead of reaching for a soda, try Pharmanex E2 for a quick energy lift to get you up and moving.
The hardest part of being active is starting. If the thought of exercising is daunting, start small – do something active for ten minutes. If you hate it after ten minutes, you can always stop and try something different tomorrow. But if you are feeling good after ten minutes, chances are you’ll keep going!
- Ensari I, Sandroff BM, Motl RW. Effects of Single Bouts of Walking Exercise and Yoga on Acute Mood Symptoms in People with Multiple Sclerosis. Int J MS Care. 2016 Jan-Feb;18(1):1-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26917992