WANT EVEN MORE HEALTHY IDEAS FROM SHAPE YOUR FUTURE?
Short days, frigid air and an overworked heater all mean one thing: it’s wintertime in Oklahoma. We all know that getting active is a bit trickier when the weather gets chillier. After all, how are you supposed to run outside if walking to your mailbox requires a full snowsuit?
Winter can be a huge barrier to physical activity. Dark days make cozying up under the blankets much more appealing. Plus, the hustle and bustle of the holidays fills your schedule and drains your wallet, making the gym a little harder to get to.
Fortunately, healthy living doesn’t require a lot!
Why Get Active?
Even though it’s tough, getting active is just as important in the winter as it is during the warmer seasons. Getting active can:
- Improve your mood: If you have a bad case of the winter blues, physical activity can help with that. It releases hormones called “endorphins” in your brain that instantly boost your mood.
- Help you sleep: The dark evenings make it hard to resist relaxation. However, getting active will tire out your body and help you sleep better!
- Boost your immune system: The winter months are full of viruses, colds and bugs, but getting active can help strengthen your immune system to fight off the illnesses.
- Support your overall health: Physical activity benefits every part of your body. It can help lower your blood pressure, improve your heart and lung health, boost your energy and increase your metabolism.
5 Tips To Get Active When It’s Chilly
- Warm up before you start. In the wintertime, warming up is more important than ever. Imagine your muscles are rubber bands. When a rubber band is cold, it only takes a gentle tug to snap it in two. However, if you move the rubber band around in your hands before you stretch it, it’s much easier to manipulate. To prevent injury, it’s important to loosen up your muscles before you jump into an exercise. Start every session with a few minutes of light cardio, like jumping jacks, walking or jogging.
- Stretch it out. Stretching out your rubber band (your muscles) will keep them loose and help you prevent injuries and soreness. Before stepping out into the cold air, try a few simple stretches or yoga poses to make your winter workouts a little more comfortable.
- Layer up. You don’t need fancy gym clothes to get active; you just need to be warm and comfortable. Sweatpants, a jacket and socks will help you stay loose and toasty while you move. Also, if you plan to take your workout outside, opt for brighter colors that are easier to see as the sun sets.
- “Build” a home gym. No, we don’t mean renovate your home! Your living room, garage and even your hallway can morph into a home gym with just a bit of creativity. No equipment? Try these equipment-free videos or use household items like brooms, cans, plates and chairs to really work your muscles!
- Take advantage of the season. Winter is cold, but it’s also full of magic! There are plenty of festive and seasonal ways to get active during the frigid months. Walk or jog through your neighborhood to admire the holiday lights or go on a scavenger hunt. Enjoy time in the snow by sledding, building snowmen, throwing snowballs and making memories. Make your Valentine’s Day active with these affordable date ideas. There’s plenty to do; just be sure to bundle up!
Movement is a great way to stay warm in the winter, but don’t neglect other healthy areas of your life! Warm up with these healthy slow cooker recipes, stay hydrated during your workouts with water and figure out your perfect sleep schedule with these tips. Stay toasty!