Tips For Staying Active This Season
There is no one on the planet who loves the summer and warm weather more than me.
Late fall and winter months used to be torturous for me. All I wanted to do was hibernate.
I spent lots of years complaining about the cold and the darkness before I realized that just like most things in life; I had the power to change it. Or, at the very least, change my attitude. I am still not a fan of winter, but I’ve learned to embrace the season anyway.
First thing I did was ramp up my nutrition with good quality supplements that include extra Vitamin D through the fall and winter – I can help you with that! Then, I got moving.
Movement and regular physical activity helps control weight, improves emotional well-being, reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels, builds fat burning muscle, increases energy and stamina, and helps keep stress in check.
I believe that all these benefits are enhanced when you take your activities outside, even in the cold weather. Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for your mood and sense of well being. And, it keeps you out of the gym where everyone is swapping germs during cold and flu season.
What started out as simply making the best of the situation has grown into finding enjoyment in cold weather activities in ways I never thought I would.
Here are some of the things that helped me get started and keep me going.
Have a Buddy
Getting started is the toughest part. Having someone else to show up for keeps you accountable. It’s also great company. Meet a friend for a walk. It’s a great way to spend time with friends without the added food or alcohol calories.
If you can’t meet in person, do a Fitbit challenge or connect with other virtual communities and fitness trackers. Challenge each other on step counts, miles walked or days in a row of activity. Be creative and come up with ways to mix it up and challenge each other.
Daylight is at a premium this time of year. You have to be flexible and plan your outdoor activities around the weather and limited daylight.
It’s light in the mornings now so a walk before work is an option. Or my personal favorite is a lunchtime walk. Walking in the mid-day sun will perk up your mood, reduce stress and make you more focused and creative when you get back to work.
Have The Right Gear
Feeling uncomfortably cold is not pleasant. You’re not going to be motivated to keep doing something unpleasant. So, dress for the season.
Dress in layers. Once you get moving you will warm up and may want to shed a layer or unzip a bit. Long underwear or silk underliners are perfect for winter walks. You’ll be much more likely to enjoy your walk if you’re comfortable.
No one likes cold hands or feet. Invest in a good pair of outside winter gloves, wool socks, and warm shoes. Wool socks will keep you warm and wick away moisture. A good pair of winter walking shoes instead of your regular sneakers makes a big difference. I wear waterproof winter hiking sneakers.
Take Up a New Hobby or Sport
Ever tried snowshoeing? It’s my favorite! I especially love to be first on the trail to cut new tracks in the snow. Cross-country skiing is wonderful too. And both are amazing muscle building and cardio workouts. If less strenuous is your thing, ice skating is a great way to get moving in the winter. If you’re more into indoor activities consider indoor tennis, racquetball or pickleball lessons.
Sports, not your thing? How about dance? Try dance lessons. It’s a great way to stay active and meet new people. Mall walking is another way to get those in steps when it’s too snowy or icy to walk outside. Most malls open early in the morning to give walkers use of the mall before the shops open for business.
I’ve never understood the idea of spring cleaning. Cleaning inside is the last thing I want to do after being inside all winter. Take on your cleaning projects now. It will keep you moving and burn some calories. Clean out the attic, garage, basement or closets now so you get out and play in the spring. Or, give a room a facelift. Paint, put up new window treatments or rearrange the furniture. All these things keep you moving and burn calories.
Make the most of those streaming subscriptions too. There are loads of exercise and yoga videos on YouTube and other streaming services. And if you have lots of stairs in your home like I do, make the most of those too. You can walk them or if you’re in reasonably good cardio shape, use them for interval training.
Don’t let the cold weather slow you down this winter. You’ll be happier and healthier if you keep moving.
Feeling like you could use a little support with this? Let’s Talk! I’m happy to help you to get clear on what you want, figure out what’s holding you back, and create a simple and easy to follow plan to get you moving.
Click here to schedule a time for us to talk.