Whether indoors or outdoors, be as active as you can—and have fun!
The winter season can be a challenging time to stay active, with colder temperatures, slippery conditions, and fewer daylight hours. But staying physically active is one of the best ways to improve your mental and physical health and keep yourself on track to reach your fitness goals. Physical activity can help you sleep better and reduce anxiety. Regular physical activity also helps you feel better, improve your balance, lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and many kinds of cancer, strengthen bones and muscles, lower blood pressure, maintain or lose weight, and keep your mind sharp as you get older. Emerging research also suggests physical activity may help boost your immune function.
Experts recommend adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity. Many activities count, such as walking, running, or wheelchair rolling. You can break that up into smaller chunks of time or spread your activity out during the week. Try 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It all counts. Get started today with our 6 tips to stay active all winter long.
- Take nature walks.
Weather permitting, schedule time during the day to enjoy nature. Take a stroll around a safe neighborhood or park.
- Monitor the weather and plan ahead.
Weather forecasts give several days’ notice to prepare your week. Be sure to monitor the weather, dress appropriately, and plan your winter activity accordingly.
- Wear layers.
Wear several layers of comfortable clothing so that items can be removed easily as you become warmer. Layers will help you guard against overheating, sweating, and eventually becoming colder.
- Workout online.
Consider tuning into a TV, online, live Zoom, or Instagram workout class. Find free or low-cost exercise videos online to help you do aerobics, dance, stretch, and build strength.
- Do some chores.
When bad weather keeps you from going outside, look for ways to be physically active indoors. Housework such as vacuuming, sweeping, and cleaning all count towards your physical activity goals. And you’ll knock out some items on your to-do list while gaining health benefits. Walking or running up and down stairs in your home can be a great workout, too.
- Volunteer in active ways while maintaining social distance.
Help others while helping yourself. Look for volunteer opportunities that involve physical activity such as walking dogs for elderly neighbors or shoveling snow. When volunteering, remember to follow social distancing recommendations to keep yourself and others safe.