While the holiday season usually brings warm, fuzzy feelings, it also brings with it cold, frosty weather. Cold weather on its own can be a deterrent to exercise, but along with a few too many Christmas cookies and hot cocoas, it’s easy to want to hibernate for the rest of winter. As appealing as hibernating is, the problem is that typically we get complacent with our aerobic activity as well.
Aerobic exercise is a necessity when it comes to overall health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and more. The US Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 4-5 times/week, but it can be challenging to come up with ideas on how to get it done.
By planning ahead and being resourceful, anyone can keep active during even the coldest months. Here’s a few tips on how you can keep moving even when baby, it’s cold outside:
- Layer up! Check out your weather forecast and get outside. Walk around your neighborhood, explore some frozen trails, or even take up a new hobby like snowshoeing or skiing. Remembering to layer is key! Layering provides an effective way to stay warm and dry, plus you can always remove the top layer if you get too hot.
- Check out YouTube! There are plenty of free exercise videos on YouTube that require little to no equipment and can be performed in the comfort of your own home. Find the ones you like and subscribe to them to get plenty of new ideas to work into your routine.
- Use The Stairs! Too cold to be outside? Stay indoors and use what you have inside your house. Climbing your stairs is a quick but effective way to get your heart rate up. No stairs? Jogging in place or standing marches can also do the trick.
- Window Shop! Being that it is the holiday season, now is the perfect time to walk around indoor malls or shops and make your wish list. The faster you walk, the more places to shop AND more exercise. Win, win.
- Do Your Chores! While chores don’t sound particularly fun, they can make for an awesome workout. Whether you’re decorating your house or shoveling snow, movement is medicine – just don’t forget to maintain good posture and tight core while doing them. No one wants to claim an injury while vacuuming. Something as straightforward as mopping your floors can elevate your heart rate. And even better, you’re killing two birds with one stone. Hello squeaky clean baseboards.
- See Your Physical Therapist! Okay, but seriously! A physical therapist can certainly help you get back into activity, especially if you’re suffering from any residual aches or pains. You don’t need a prescription from a doctor, and the end of the year is the perfect time to take advantage of met deductibles and get seen. Not only can a PT provide you with a tune up before the new year, they can also help cater a specific exercise program to fit your needs.
Just because it’s cold weather season, doesn’t mean you need to slack on the aerobic activity. We’re sure that with a few of these ideas, you’ll be able to incorporate more exercise into your weekly routine. Not sure where to start? We’re here for you!