It’s about this time of year when those well-laid plans for the New Year begin to fall apart. Resolving to get in shape or become more active are goals that many of us set in January. Outdoor activities can be tough to engage in, especially in parts of the country where the temperature dips into the single digits. However, with a little determination and creativity, it’s easy to keep up with an exercise routine. If you’ve had a hard time lately getting in enough physical activity, here are a few tips to push you through til spring:
Bundle Up and Go For It
Sometimes taking the first step is definitely the hardest. However, once you start, it is amazing how invigorating exercising on a frigid day can be. So pull on those gloves, wooly cap, and winter coat and go for it. You may be surprised how quickly your body warms up during a short jog, bike ride or brisk walk. Even on miserably cold days, a few rays of sunshine and gulps of fresh air can work wonders. Of course alpine sports enthusiasts know this all too well!
Be sure to dress in layers and put them on and off as needed. If you get too hot and sweat through your warm clothing it could be dangerous when you stop exerting yourself and your wet outerwear gets cold in a hurry.
Try Something New
Embrace the cold and try out a new sport. Rather than loathing the snow and ice, embrace it! If snowboarding or skiing are not appealing, explore other options such as snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. Is there an ice rink in the neighborhood? How about ice hockey, curling, ice dancing or figure skating?
Take It Indoors
The colder months are an excellent time to work out inside. This could mean lifting weights, cardio on machines such as a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical trainer, or a yoga class.
Regardless of the activities you choose, just keep in mind the recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Aerobic activity-Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You also can do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.” Have fun and always check first with your family doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
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