Working out in winter can have a few perils, from slipping on ice to pulling a tight muscle, but the benefits can outweigh it all. With the right sort of gear and precautions, the conditions shouldn’t be an issue. Here are four ways to stay healthy this winter:
Burn off More
Temperatures can be a major deterrent to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s more than tempting to stay cozy and warm indoors, but the onset of cold weather can be beneficial. Before doing anything, wrap yourself up in weather-appropriate gear consisting of moisture-wicking fabrics that will keep you at an optimum temperature. Winter workouts require a little more precaution, but your body may burn off more calories in the cold than in other seasons, and your heart can potentially be strengthened. This is because the heart adapts to the cold by distributing more blood to the body. Even with this in mind, it can be hard to find motivation. Music is a great way to keep you going whatever the weather, so consider switching up your playlists more often during the winter months. This cold season, try to keep exercising outdoors, and in the process of staying fit, you can give yourself some natural vitamin D, which may also boost your mood and energy.
Bring a Friend
One way to get outside and stay motivated during winter is to bring a friend along with you. By having a buddy at your side, you can create an environment that gives you some welcome support and drive to keep going, even more important in the discouraging cold. By scheduling sessions together, you can also keep both of you committed to working out whenever it becomes a temptation to stay inside and put it off another day. Consider it a way to catch up with a friend you don’t normally have enough time to see. Jogging side by side, or even while using adjacent machines at the gym, you can talk while also working on your health.
Create a Home Gym
Whether or not you decide to keep working out in the cold outside, creating a dedicated home gym can help get you through the frosty season. Your core equipment should consist of dumbbells, a yoga mat, a Bosu balance trainer, and adaptable resistance bands. These pieces allow you flexibility in your routines. You can use YouTube, DVDs, or specific fitness apps to tailor a workout regimen to your needs.
Wherever you’re working out, look towards positive means of self-motivation. One way to achieve that is by treating yourself. It could be watching something on Netflix or Hulu,or making yourself one of your favorite warm drinks to take with you on the way to your workout. Whatever it is, try to reward yourself whenever possible. An interesting aspect to watching a show or movie is that you can combine it with exercise, which will keep you entertained, motivated, and above all, healthy. It can be a great incentive to keep you going. Try to keep from using food as a motivation, as in rewarding yourself for working out by eating a “cheat meal.” Food is a necessity, and not a reward. If you do indulge in a luxurious meal, snack, or dessert, make sure your next meal is a healthy one.
With these tips in mind, you can continue pursuing a healthy lifestyle into winter and beyond. Staying active in the cold season is important, and working out in those chilly, darker months can have a measurable effect on your mood and energy levels. Whether you brave the cold with a friend or create a home gym, winter no longer needs to bring a halt to your fitness activities.
Writer Jason writes for StrongWell and enjoys creating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.
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