Now that the holidays are over, it is time to get back into the swing of things. If you had as much fun over the holidays as I did, your pants are little tight and your gym membership card is a little dusty. Good news! There are many ways to be active and healthy during these chilly post-holiday months. Whether you want to stay indoors or you want to brave the cold, I have great ideas to stay active to help keep that waistline from expanding.
How to Stay Active During the Winter Months
1.) Braving the Elements
Although snow can be cold, it can be beautiful and the perfect terrain for many great activities. People from all over the world travel to snowy destinations to enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, and sledding, so take advantage of your location and embrace the great snow hills. You can also enjoy snow-shoeing and cross country skiing. Even a hike around your local park will invigorate your body! Bring your kids along to make it a family fun day. Other outdoor winter activity ideas to get you moving include the following: treasuring hunting, like geo-cache; building a snowman; playing pond hockey; ice skating; or ice fishing.
2.) Heading Indoors
If the cold is not your thing then heading to your favorite gym might be the easiest way to get motivated. There are many options to change up your gym routine. Try a new Zumba or spinning class. You can swim laps and pretend it’s warm out. There are also rec leagues to get you involved, such as volleyball, soccer and basketball. This could be a great way to build your competitive spirit and meet new people.
If your kids are getting just as restless as you, try an indoor playground or trampoline park. This will give you and your kids a chance to burn off that energy and get your heart rate pumping. You could go to your local ice skating rink; many times they will have an open skate or rec hockey games. If you live in an area that is not close to these activities, try walking laps around the local mall or running a few flights of stairs. For only 20-30 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week, cardio can make a world of difference in your health.
3.) Homebody Fun
For those you who dread leaving your house during these winter months, there are great ways to stay active right in your own home! The most convenient is to have an in-home gym. However, this is may not be the easiest or most cost effective. Workout videos are a great way to keep active at home and they offer a wide variety so you never get bored of the same routine. Video streaming devices can offer an incredible library to fit any workout mood. Add dumbbells or leg weights to step up your routine.
If you don’t have videos and are just watching TV, add in squats, burpees, jumping jacks, or push-ups during commercial breaks. To get your kids involved in health routines using Nintendo Wii Fit, Microsoft Xbox Kinect, and other gaming devices offer a variety of fun activities to get your heart pumping. Even a game of charades, hide and seek, or a family talent show will get everyone involved and moving. Just have fun with it!
Remember, being active is a good thing. Not everyone is training for a marathon but a little bit goes a long way. Physical activity boosts immunity and metabolism while keeping your body strong and healthy. This is important during the cold and flu season! Exercise helps prevent weight gain, especially after holiday eating and drinking. Consistent exercise also helps reduce chronic aches and pains. It might be hard a first but do a little at a time and soon it will become habit.