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6 Winter Workouts To Stay Fit All Year Long

Staying active during the winter months is critical to maintaining a healthy weight, muscle strength and cardiovascular health.

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Let’s face it, when that alarm goes off on a cold winter morning you are much, much more likely to hit snooze and crawl back under the covers! The cold, wet weather in winter combined with the lack of daylight hours can make you feel like a sloth. Staying active and staying in shape becomes more difficult as we are naturally much less active during the winter months.

Because of our natural tendency to curl up on the couch, it’s important that we have a plan to combat the winter sloth-fest.

6 Tips to Stay Active This Winter

  1. Hit the Mall: Walking gets difficult in the cold weather, especially once there is snow on the ground. Most malls around the country open early and allow walkers to use the large, open hallways for walking. Many malls even have walking clubs that allow you to connect with others, making this a social endeavor, and one you will be more likely to stick with.
  2. Hit the Gym: Gyms or fitness centers offer the opportunity to work out indoors. Try finding one with an indoor pool for some winter swimming.
  3. Resist: Resistance bands offer a great way to build muscle without heavy, bulky, or expensive equipment. Resistance bands can be used to strengthen almost any major muscle group.
  4. Ring the Bells: Dumbbells can also be used to strengthen muscle and can be used for all major muscle groups. Kettlebells are even more versatile, as they provide muscle resistance and cardio, for a well-rounded workout.
  5. Jump Around: A jump rope is a great way to get a great cardio workout without trying to run on icy pavement or being exposed to cold winds and harsh trail conditions.
  6. Be a Good Sport: Winter sports like snow shoeing and ice skating are fun ways to get outdoors and enjoy the cold weather.

It’s important to dress right before heading out to play in the cold weather. A moisture wicking base layer is critical, as being wet when out in the cold can be downright dangerous. Cotton does not work in winter as it is not moisture wicking and can leave you cold and miserable. A fleece or wool second layer for warmth keeps you toasty and happy. Don’t forget the gloves and scarf, and maybe even a face cover if it is very cold! The outer layer will depend on how cold it gets, but generally should be wind and water resistant. Don’t forget to invest in a good pair of waterproof shoes with great traction.

Having a plan of action in place to stay active for those times when the weather is not cooperating is critical as winter can sometimes seem to go on forever! With some basic options in place before the snow flies, it’s possible to remain active all year long.

AOA. (2016). Don’t hibernate: Stay active during the winter months. Osteopathic. Retrieved on 11/29/16 from http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/winter-workout.aspx.

Reyes, M. (2016). Winter proof your workout. Fitness Magazine. Retrieved on 11/29/16 from http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/winter-fitness-workout-tips/.

WebMD. (2016). Get started. Web MD. Retrieved on 11/29/16 from http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/quick-tips-staying-active-in-cold-weather-get-started#1.

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