What are Some Ways to Stay Active During the Winter Months


Winter brings on unique challenges when it comes to wellness. Especially during another covid surge, going to the gym or in-person exercise classes may not be the most appealing.

However, there are a variety of alternatives that will allow you to stay active, or get active during the winter months.

Why is it harder to be active in winter?

There are a variety of reasons why winter is a difficult time for pursuing wellness. Firstly, it's cold out in many places, so going outside for your daily (or monthly) run means bundling up just the right amount to keep you from freezing, but also from getting too warm. Additionally, people are more tired in the winter months. Less sun means your circadian rhythm is telling you to produce more melatonin (the hormone for sleep) earlier in the day. Depending on the thermostat politics of your household you may find yourself colder during the winter months, which means your body is expending more energy regulating your internal temperature.

Being active during the wintertime, when your body is telling you to hunker down and wait for spring, can be a challenge, but incorporating activity into your daily or weekly routine bit by bit can make it less overwhelming.

How to integrate activity during the winter months.

Start small

There is evidence that doing 20 minutes of low to moderate aerobic activity three times a week for six weeks can increase energy for sedentary adults. The answer to more energy isn't expending a ton of it through intense workouts every day. But it seems even a 20-minute walk can do the trick.

If you're beginning your wellness journey don't get discouraged by winter challenges, and remember something is better than nothing. Even if you only manage a two-minute stretch or a ten-minute walk, you're making it easier to do more next time.

 For more tips on how to set goals check out our blog on new years resolutions here.

Stay home

If going to the gym or a group class is too much of a hassle or is inconvenient for you, there are a variety of virtual options you can do from the comfort of your own home. If you don't have the budget for a subscription service, a youtube search can usually give you what you're looking for, although you won't have the benefit of an instructor being online to assist you.

If you're looking to take the studio home to you, take a peek at options like JetSweat which offers you access to virtual, 2 way video classes broadcast by 30+ of the best boutique fitness studios in NYC.

Plan ahead

Looking at your calendar for the week or month and penciling in times you have for even ten minutes of activity will save you from last-minute paralysis when you find some spare time and can't decide what to do with it.

Find a buddy

This can be someone you live with, a friend nearby, or someone far away. You can do a virtual fitness session together, or at the same time if you are not in person. You can have someone to go on a walk with you or someone to call on your walk. Having someone else who is also committed to staying active or getting active during winter, will turn wellness into a social activity.

Do some research

If you live in a particularly cold climate, look up what kind of gear you will need if you're looking to exercise outside. Make sure you are visible during the darker months and make sure you are being safe! Again, buddies can help if you're spending time outside early in the morning or late at night.

Add to your diet

With many fruits and vegetables out of season, it is harder to get all of the vitamins your body needs. With less sun during the day, many people find they have more energy after taking vitamin D3. If you are feeling particularly fatigued during the winter months it may be a good idea to ask your doctor if there are any supplements or vitamins they recommend.

Take care of your mental health

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) impacts a high percentage of the population during the darker months of the year. SAD can make it harder to feel motivated to be active and if this is the case, talking to a mental health professional is your best option when it comes to your mental health. Regular exercise and spending time outside can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Meditation apps are a great way to boost positive energy, reduce anxiety and depression and deliver an overall increase in well-being during these frigid, dark months. If you're looking to just melt away into a surreal, uplifting journey that transports you to a warmer, more inspiring destination, check out Synctuition. 10 years of research went into producing incredible binaural beats based mediation series. You choose the path, they provide the experience.

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