You already know that daily exercise goes a long way to combat stubborn physical issues like obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis. What is less known is the effect of regular exercise on mental health. Vigorous activity kicks up the production of endorphins and certain pentapeptides involved in regulating and improving mood. Outdoor activity brings the added benefits of clean air and a natural dose of vitamin D.
But how can you stay fit when winter is coming?
Cold Weather Sports
When the mercury drops below thirty degrees, you may not be able to go for a jog on icy sidewalks. Consider winter friendly workout alternatives.
- Bundle up for a winter hike.
- Spend an hour at the local skating rink, or on an outdoor frozen pond.
- Go cross-country skiing at a local park.
- Go sledding with your kids; the hike up the hill can be a heck of a workout.
- Ski at a local resort.
If you’re healthy enough, consider keeping the snow blower in the garage and opt to shovel the driveway instead.
Winter is a great time to take advantage of a gym membership. But don’t get into a rut of sticking with the treadmills or bikes. Try some new classes to keep your exercise regime interesting. The upbeat rhythms of a Zumba class are sure to lift your spirits. Hot yoga may get your mind off the cold for a solid hour. Weight lifting can get your body ready for the warmer weather. The key is to mix things up so that you don’t get bored.
If a gym membership is too much of a commitment, consider joining a walking club at the local mall, learning Taekwondo at a nearby dojo, or spending an hour at a local indoor climbing facility.
Stay On Track
If most of your exercise regime is spent outdoors, it’s very easy to get bumped off track when the cold descends. Avoid the I’ll-do-it-when-the-weather-is-better temptation with these three tips.
- Write It Down. Keep to a consistent schedule. Blocking off time on your busy calendar is a great way to make sure your workout gets done.
- Keep To A Goal. Everyone exercises for a different reason. Some people do it to feel good. Others to keep in tip-top shape. Still others find exercise a great stress reliever. Whatever your fitness goal, don’t let bad weather thwart your good intentions.
- Pair Up. When you exercise with a friend, you’ve got an extra incentive not to let them down. Consider pairing up with a buddy to keep your exercise goals on track during the long, cold winter.
The best way to integrate exercise into your day is to make it a joyous part of your life. Don’t let winter get in the way!