Posted on February 07 2018
For me, this is the time of year that is bone-chillingly cold. It seems that once February arrives, old man winter has one last hurrah. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year that I'm dying to get outside because I've been cooped up for months. Staying active in the cold weather is so important for me because I suffer from chronic pain. If I just spend the winter inactive, I really feel it in my muscles, joints and bones. Here are some ways to help you stay active in the cold weather so that by the time spring arrives, you'll be ready.
Make sure you warm up inside before you go outside for activity- It's really hard to do a warm up when it's so cold outside. I like to warm up indoors with some stretches or yoga before I head outside for a jog or run. Warming up indoors also allows your joints and muscles a better chance at recovery when you get done. Make sure you also warm up when you come home, physically. A good way to do this is with a warm shower.
Try to go get exercise during sunlight hours- If you do a go outdoors for exercise, make sure you do it during daylight hours. In the summer, the temperature doesn't drop that much, but in the winter it can drop by almost half. While sunlight hours are limited in the winter, switch times that you do your exercising. For instance, if you normally run in the evening, switch to mornings.
Make a goal for Spring and get inspired to do it while it’s still cold- To motivate yourself to stay active in the cold weather, set some goals for the spring. For me, I like to do 5Ks and 10Ks so it's easy for me to set a goal to be ready for the first one which usually happens around April here. You could also start couch to 5K indoors or out as another option or idea. Whatever goal you have, make it something that will motivate you to stay active.
Try a new winter sport- There are so many winter sports. Most people know skiing or snowboarding, but have you ever considered something different? I hope to try snowshoeing before the end of the season. I also like to go winter hiking. To me, there's nothing better then cozying up after being outdoors and seeing some nature. Plus, there are benefits to winter sports other than getting out of the house. For instance, snow, like sand, tends to add resistance to your steps. This can help with strength training and stamina building.
Take up Mall-walking- If you don't want to go outside, I don't necessarily blame you. For a long time, I was sort of an “indoor girl”. Have you ever considered Mall walking? Many people mistakenly think Mall walking is just for retired folks. The truth is, many people enjoy Mall walking as a way to get exercise on cold or rainy days. Most malls also open up around 6 a.m. to accommodate Mall walking so it is a good way to get some exercise in before your work day. Additionally, many mall stores accommodate mall walkers with things like free coffee!
Go swimming at a local gym- Swimming is an excellent way to exercise in the winter. If your gym has a pool, make sure you use it this season. You can also often use a pool at your local YMCA. Swimming is great for winter because it helps build stamina and it is easy on achy joints and muscles.
Read more by Christine here.