Frigid fall temperatures mark the end of outdoor activity for many people. The shorter days can make it more challenging to stay active and motivated. Exercise levels and healthy eating habits among Americans significantly decline during fall and winter months. This time of the year can impede healthy living, but all is not lost.
The best way to stay on top of your personal health and maximize cold weather workouts is to plan for the cold weather and think ahead.
These tips will help you prepare you to remain active, no matter how cold it is outside.
• Dress for the cold: Don’t let the chilly temperatures keep you inside. Use the cold as an opportunity to find unique ways to get in some good cardio or strength work by raking leaves, shoveling the driveway, building a snowman or going on a weather hike at one of the trails in the Johnny Appleseed Metro Park District.
• Get in the game: Winter is a great time for team sports like volleyball or basketball. Recreation leagues like these can provide a great aerobic workout and speed skills, also.
• A little is better than zero: If you don’t have time to go to the gym or fit an hour workout into your busy day, still try to fit in what you can. Try a steady walk for 20 to 30 minutes during lunch, climb a flight of stairs a couple of times, or simply stand up and stretch.
• Buddy-up: For added motivation, invite friends to work out with you. Buddies give you incentive, provide mutual commitment and ultimately help keep workouts fun.
• Keep active wherever you are: Winter workouts don’t need to be relegated to the gym. Find an at-home fitness DVD, a YouTube workout, or an on-demand television workout. It is more convenient than ever to be active on-the-go or from home.
• Mix up your fitness: Use the winter season to learn a new skill. Try something new like a yoga class, ballroom dancing, BodyPump, or cross-country skiing.
Whether the goal is to maintain your weight, to feel better, to lose weight, to have more energy, or simply to stay healthy and active during the long winter months, try the tips above and develop strategies for activity and healthy eating that work best for you. You can stay fit and active during the colder time of the year. Ohio’s colder winter months won’t slow you down.