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Keeping Active During the Winter Months – 8 Tips

We totally get it – it’s a million times easier to stay in, sip some hot chocolate, and cuddle up in a warm blanket while binge-watching Netflix rather than bust your bum out exercising in the freezing cold frostbite inducing weather. We want to help, so here are ten ways you might want to consider staying active during the icy winter months.  

Release Happy Hormones with Home Workouts!  

Home workouts are a great way to stay in shape. Make your own personal gym at home with a yoga mat and some weights. To get your heart pumping and your brain full of endorphins, look for workout videos on YouTube or fitness apps.   

Want to get seriously fit quick? Consider following Chloe Ting’s workout videos. Her (absolutely free of cost!) two-week fitness challenges will have you sweating away those pesky extra pounds gained from being idle during COVID-19!   

Bundle Up with Some Layers  

Layering is key to staying warm and dry when going out to exercise in cold weather. You can avoid cold weather hazards like hypothermia and frostbite with a bit of planning. 

Cold temperatures, strong winds, and damp conditions (such as rain and snow) rob your body of heat. According to the National Weather Service, a 30-degree day with a 30-mile-per-hour wind feels like about 15 degrees. And the effect is amplified if you get wet (from rain, snow, or perspiration). That’s why layers of clothing are essential: they aid in trapping heat and forming a type of insulation against the elements.  

It may make sense to use cotton; when cotton becomes wet from sweat or snow, the moisture becomes trapped and causes you to feel colder (and heavier). Choose something that draws moisture away from your skin for your first layer, such as moisture-wicking fabrics in high-performance sportswear. Then, add a layer of fleece, and finally, a layer of waterproof clothing.   

Head To the Library   

While you may shake your head in confusion at this point, the library is actually a rather good place to find stuff like workout DVDs and books on exercise. An insider suggestion? We recommend videos and books on High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT may be just the thing for you if you’re looking to get those much-coveted washboard abs fast. We recommend checking out the book The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter.   

Walking/Running 

Walking and running are the easiest outdoor exercises to maintain during the winter because they don’t require much extra gear or special conditions. So long as it isn’t too cold, you can put on your shoes and hit the road.  

Just watch out for uneven sidewalks, which can cause injuries if not taken care of. Also, only walk or run on clear sidewalks as snow and ice can make things even more dangerous.  

Swimming  

Swimming indoors can help you gain stamina and keep weight off during the long winter months. There are a variety of fun indoor water activities available; water aerobics, for instance. 

Skip The Elevator 

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Your home, apartment building, or workplace is probably equipped with stairs. A great fat-burning exercise, stair climbing will keep your heart rate elevated.  

Indoor Games 

Play a few indoor games. Playing your favourite indoor sports during the colder months is a great way to stay active. If you live somewhere with access to a basketball, soccer, or volleyball court, call a few friends and have a blast playing! 

Benefits of Staying Active in Winter  

Improves Endurance 

Your heart doesn’t have to work as hard; you sweat less and use less energy when it’s cold outside.  

Burn Away More Fat! 

Exercising in cold weather burns twice as much fat as exercising in hot weather. A peptide found in our muscles (sarcolipin), which is activated during cold-temperature exercise, aids the body in consuming more calories.  

Fight Off SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is more than just winter blues. It’s a form of depression triggered by the onset of fall and lack of/less sunlight. In the late autumn or early winter, this depression worsens before improving in the warmer days of spring. Regular exercise and spending 20 minutes in the sun each day can help ward off or prevent SAD and its symptoms.   

Final Notes  

While it may be tempting to cozily hibernate like a polar bear on the couch during winter (we would love that option, honestly!), it’s ultimately better for you to keep active during the colder months. Keeping busy in the winter can be difficult due to the colder temperatures, slippery conditions, and shorter daylight hours but being physically active is the best way to improve your mental and physical well-being and stay on track to meet your fitness goals. Regular physical activity is also essential for a restful night’s sleep. There are a bunch of upsides to exercising regularly: 

  • Maintaining or losing weight 
  • Reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and many cancers 
  • Increasing your muscle strength 
  • Lowering your blood pressure 
  • And more! 

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and please stay tuned for more of our upcoming blog posts! Share your ideas on how to stay active during winter down in the comments below! 

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