It’s easy to say “It’s too cold out” and retreat to the couch on winter evenings and weekends. It’s true that the winter months can be difficult to maintain our physical activity routines. If you live in the Midwest or other areas prone to snow, the weather can be an unpredictable hassle. It gets darker outside earlier, and this tends to make us more tired earlier than normal. We also tend to eat more “comfort food” during the cold months of the year. Our bodies can lose muscle mass within weeks of not utilizing them and we can also see changes in metabolism.
With all things considered, physical activity during winter is just as important as during any other season. Here are 5 ways to cure your cabin fever!
- Outside is not off limits! Just remember to dress in layers to help insulate your body. Top layers of clothing should be wind and water-resistant, if possible. Outdoor activities include, but are not limited to, sledding, skiing, ice skating (which can also be indoors), snowball fights, shoveling snow, building a snowman or fort, and walking the dog. If none of these are appealing, bundle up and go for a nice walk around the neighborhood!
- Use indoor locations as a place to walk. Churches with recreation centers, malls, and other department stores are great options if you don’t want to make a trip to the gym.
- Make a “gym” or place to work out in the convenience of your own home! Weights can be purchased inexpensively. Boxes or a step stool can be used as tools for cardio workouts. Jumping jacks and jump ropes count, too!
- Whether in your home or at work, use the stairs. We should really use the stairs vs. elevator any time of year, but using the steps during the winter will help increase physical activity that may be hard to fit in otherwise.
- Dance! Put on your favorite playlist and have a 30 minute dance session! Dancing burns calories, reduces stress, and is just fun!