Often when temperatures and snow begin to fall, our interest in being active drops right along with them. The shorter days and cold temperatures tend to drive us inside for the winter, and it doesn’t take long to pack on a few extra pounds. Not all of us can hit the slopes for skiing, snowboarding or sledding. Cozying up indoors can be comfortable. It is nonetheless crucial to remember that staying active is key to preventing winter weight gain, increasing energy levels, improving your mood, reducing stress, and ultimately preventing chronic disease.
Here are some ideas about how to stay active in the winter time:
1) Head to a gym or health club facility for sports, fitness classes, or your workouts. Many facilities also have indoor pools. Swimming is an excellent year-round activity that is gentle on your joints and enhances your cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility.
2) Become a mall-walker. Most malls allow people to walk before the stores open. At some, you can even join a special club for all ages and all ability levels. You’ll be able to go at your own pace, and check out the new merchandise in store windows before the general public gets to see it!
3) Many communities and sports complexes offer sport leagues for people of all ages including basketball, indoor soccer, floor hockey, flag football, etc. Getting a team together with a few friends is a great way to stay in shape and have fun if you prefer an indoor activity in the winter.
4) Invest in an exercise bike or elliptical. You can look in the local newspaper or online to find gently used models that people are getting rid of at an affordable price.
5) Stretching. You can do simple stretches any time of the day, and in the comfort of your own home. Do not overexert or overextend, but do try to stretch out your muscles at least a few times a day. If you are in a wheelchair, you can still find many ways to stretch. Speak to your Physical Therapist to find out what you can do!
If you need some new ideas on training regimens during the winter months, give us a call at 516-829-0030. We can help you design a winter fitness program to facilitate your specific fitness goals while keeping you in shape and injury free.