It’s getting colder and darker earlier each day. Often during this time of year, many people struggle to keep up with their fitness goals and daily exercise. It can be a lot easier to take a walk on a sunny day or go for a morning outdoor swim. But even though the weather has changed, fitting in fitness is still just as important!
Let’s remember why…
Benefits of Exercise
It’s time to review all the benefits of exercise because they can be easy to forget. There are so many, but here are a few favorites.
- Exercise Improves Mood – Have you ever felt worse after a workout? Probably not! Exercise can instantly improve your mood, especially on those dark winter days.
- Exercise Improves Weight Maintenance – We know exercise helps burn extra calories when you are working on a weight-loss plan. We also know it helps tremendously with weight maintenance.
- Exercise Improves Health – Improve your cardiovascular health, bone health and flexibility, just to name a few. Exercise can be the best medicine.
Remember Your Why’s
It is always important to remember what your goals are and to reassess them every once in a while. Winter can be a good chance to do that. Take a minute to reevaluate your goals and perhaps set some new ones for the year ahead. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.
- I will take a walk (indoor or outdoor) every day at lunch to increase my daily steps.
- I will try one new fitness activity each month during the cold weather season.
- Once a week, I will bundle up and take my dog for a long walk outside.
Cold Weather Options
Since outdoor swimming pools and summery walks are out, find some options that can be just as effective and fit into your plan.
- Join a Gym – A climate-controlled, always-available gym can be a great asset. Take advantage of the multiple weight machines and fitness equipment to make sure you don’t get bored with your daily workout. Some gyms offer month to month payment options, so consider joining at least for the winter months.
- Take a Class – A yoga class, spin class or boot camp can vary your plan and challenge you in ways you haven’t been challenged before. Pick a couple that sound interesting and purchase a trial class to see if you like it.
- Bundle Up – You can still walk or run outside on most days. Make sure you get the right gear for staying warm such as layered clothes, hats and gloves.
- Consider Winter Alternatives – An outdoor hike can be a beautiful and great way to keep your fitness going. If you are feeling super adventurous, consider cross-country skiing or ice skating. Regular winter tasks such as shoveling snow can help you squeeze in exercise while checking things off your list.
Enjoy the beauty of winter and the challenge of meeting all your health goals. You’ve got this!