There are many benefits of exercising in winter and weight loss or weight management is just one of them. You see, staying active in the cold has as many mental benefits apart from physical benefits. Also, research has shown that shivering in the cold is actually great as it keeps your body’s calorie burning rate high. So let us study some fun things to do to stay active this season.
1. Embrace the cold
Lot of people put off staying active in winters sayings ‘it’s too cold to do anything’. The first thing to do is to get rid of that mindset. People often miss the beauty and opportunities offered by the season owing to this negative attitude. So talk to your friends, family and community members and encourage them to think of ways to have fun, stay active and lead others into staying active in the cold season.
2. Prepare first
It is important that you prepare your body and mind before indulging in winter activities. After all; it is important to take care of little things before they escalate into something big. So start by drinking plenty of water and eating nourishing, healthy foods. Invest in good winter wear. If you plan to run outdoors, you will need thermal, waterproof clothes, insulated running shoes, leg warmers, gloves, etc. Also, winters means shorter days and reduced light. Plan your outdoor winter activity during the brighter part of the day as far as possible. If you plan to run or bike, equip yourself with fluorescent sporting jackets, shoes, lights and other activities which can help you stay safe in areas with vehicular traffic.
3. Be wary of slippery surfaces
Safety comes first when it comes to staying active in winters. Stay away from slippery areas and frozen water bodies. Always run or bike in well illuminated roads. Invest in anti skid shoes that have a firm grip and prevent slips and falls.
4. Search for fun winter activities nearby
Snow shoeing, snow trekking or winter camping are some fun winter activities to consider. You can also take part in Nordic skiing, or head to a skiing resort nearby. Winter camping is actually fun-the landscape is pristine and there are virtually no people around.
5. Get into snowball fights
Get your kids involved and have a snowball fight. You can also build a snow man and make snow angels. Head inside later for a warm cup of hot chocolate after wards but be mindful of the calorie intake if you are watching your weight.
6. Shovel snow
Why pay expensive winter gym membership when there is so much you can do to stay fit, right in your neighborhood? Stay active in winters by shoveling your yard. While you are at it, why not offer to do the same for an elderly neighbor? You will burn plenty of calories in the process. Just take care of your back while shoveling.
7. Go to the mall
If the cold is too much for you to bear, you can walk inside a heated mall. Climb the stairs instead of using elevators or escalators. There are mall walking groups as well in case you need motivation! Try this site for finding mall walkers near you.
8. Join a walking/running group
It often gets de-motivating to run or exercise along. So why not find a few buddies to join you? Here are some easy ways to find a walking/running group near you:
- Meetup.com– This is a great site that shows all the walking groups in your areas. There might be a membership fee. The site is also great for finding cooking groups, mobile app developers, language learning groups, marathon runners etc.
- AVA club- These are non-competitive walking clubs and there are nearly 500 clubs of this type across USA and Canada.
- Running clubs-Whatever your goals may be, find a running club near you. They can help you lose weight or even socialize in winters.
9. Sign up for a winter gym membership
Sometimes, a gym membership is the best way to actually align with your fitness and weight loss goals. Winters, especially January, is the time when most gyms and health clubs want maximum people to sign up considering that many renew their fitness and weight loss goals thanks to New Year resolutions. So signing up for a winter gym membership might actually help you save money and also get you started with accomplishing those resolutions. You can also take different classes to avoid boredom.
10. Volunteer at school or community center
Ask if you can coach the local school team or help at a church. Volunteer to do heavy laborious jobs and you might also lose weight in the process while helping out people in need. A soup kitchen is a good place to work too-you will end up standing all day long while you serve meals which is a great way to lose weight and burn calories.
If you love to dance, sign up for dance classes. This is a great activity all year round. You can even dance indoors-just play your favorite music and get going. DVDs and videos are also available-you can find some at the library.
12. Create an indoor gym
Workout indoors if you do not want to sign up for winter gym membership. You can do yoga, high intensity interval training and other fun activities. There are applications that show you the best exercises to do. If possible, invest in a treadmill. Commit to staying active as the winter turns colder by investing in a treadmill, a cross trainer or other home gym equipment. Add incline to your treadmill to keep things challenging. Commit to using the treadmill daily or at least 3 times a week. If a new one is expensive, you could try for secondhand or sued gym equipment from thrift stores or Craigslist etc.
13. Park further away
Stay more active in winters by taking the stairs or parking further away from the office, mall etc. If you take the bus, get off earlier and walk the rest of the way.
Find a local, indoor heated pool. Swimming is great in winters and summers as it gives you a complete body workout.
15. Change is good
If you find yourself getting bored, then change something. Go away for a weekend getaway. Walk along the beach or hike somewhere in the mountains. Go dancing one evening with your partner. Do not take too much time off in winter though otherwise you will make that a habit and lose the fitness you have worked so hard to gain!