January 23rd, 2024
As the temperature drops, it’s tempting to stay indoors and hibernate until spring. Netflix may be calling your name, but maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for both physical and mental well-being, especially during the winter months. Embrace the chill this season with invigorating ways to exercise that will keep you warm while making the most of the snowy wonderland outside.
How to Keep Active in the Winter
Skiing and snowboarding offer a way to stay fit while enjoying the winter landscape. Both of these sports engage various muscle groups to provide a dynamic full-body workout. The continuous motion of navigating slopes requires strength and endurance, particularly in your legs, core, and back. Both activities also demand balance and coordination, enhancing overall stability and proprioception. The repetitive nature of carving through snow and the effort required to maintain control also contributes to cardiovascular fitness. If you’re looking for some snow gear to get started, checkout this great list from Forbes.
Like skiing and snowboarding, skating also combines fun with physical fitness. Gliding across ice especially targets your core, legs, and gluteal groups while improving balance, stability, strength, and endurance. The cardiovascular challenge promotes a healthy heart, while the low-impact nature of the sport is gentle on joints, making it accessible to people of various fitness levels and ages.
Beyond the physical benefits, skiing, snowboarding, and skating also offer a mental workout, requiring focus, quick decision-making, and adaptability to changing conditions.
Not a fan of outdoor skating? Many places offer indoor rinks where you can enjoy the benefits of skating without facing the elements.
in-home personal training
For those who prefer the comfort of working out in home, mobile personal training is the perfect option. Opting for an in-home personal trainer can bring a host of benefits that contribute to a more personalized and effective fitness journey.
One of the key advantages is the convenience and time-saving aspect. With a personal trainer coming to your home, there’s no commute to the gym, making it easier to incorporate fitness into a busy schedule (especially when winter conditions make it harder to travel). The personalized attention from a certified trainer allows for a tailored workout plan, addressing individual goals and preferences.
In the comfort of your home, you have fewer distractions and a familiar environment, enhancing focus and motivation during sessions. An in-home personal trainer can also adapt workouts based on available space and equipment.
Preparation is key when embarking on a winter hiking adventure. First and foremost, dress appropriately in layers to manage body temperature, opting for a moisture-wicking base, insulating materials, and a waterproof outer shell. Secondly, invest in quality, insulated, waterproof boots with good traction to navigate icy or snowy trails. Don’t forget essential accessories like gloves, a toque or hat, and thermal socks to protect against the cold. Next, equip yourself with a backpack containing essentials like water, high-energy snacks, a first aid kit, and navigation tools.
Be sure to research your chosen trail (considering the winter conditions) and inform someone about your hiking plans. Pack a headlamp or flashlight, as daylight hours are shorter in winter. Be sure to check weather forecasts and trail conditions before setting out, and carry a map and compass in case electronic devices fail. Lastly, be aware of the potential for hypothermia and carry emergency gear, such as a space blanket!
Snowshoeing is a delightful way to explore snowy landscapes while keeping up your step count. The act of lifting your legs higher than usual with each step (due to the added bulk of the snowshoes) intensifies the workout while strengthening the muscles in your thighs and calves. The poles used for balance also recruit the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back, providing an upper body workout. Like skating, snowshoeing is a low-impact activity, reducing stress on the joints and making it accessible for a variety of individuals. The cardiovascular benefits are especially significant, as the combination of fresh, crisp air and the effort required to navigate through snow contributes to an increased heart rate and improved respiratory fitness.
Don’t forget to apply the same safety precautions advised for winter hiking if you’re planning to snowshoe far from home!
If the roads are clear and you’re up for a challenge, winter cycling can be a great way to stay fit. You’ll need to invest in proper winter cycling gear, equip your bike with winter-specific tires that provide better traction on icy surfaces, and ensure your bike’s brakes, gears, and overall mechanics are in good condition. Don’t forget to increase your visibility by adding reflective elements to your clothing and bike, especially for low-light conditions. Lastly, plan your route carefully, choosing well-maintained paths and avoiding risky areas prone to ice accumulation.
PLAY IN THE SNOW!
Turn childhood pastimes into calorie-burning activities: grab your friends or family and build a snowman, go sledding, or start a friendly snowball fight. These activities may seem lighthearted, but they involve physical exertion and can elevate your heart rate. Engaging in unstructured exercise (spontaneous physical activity without a rigid plan) offers a myriad of benefits for both the body and mind. This is also a great way to get your kids off the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or PC and into fresh air!
Don’t let the winter blues hinder your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Whether you prefer the exhilaration of winter sports or the warmth of indoor activities, there are plenty of ways to stay active and fit during the colder months. So bundle up, step outside, and make the most of the winter season by embracing the chill in your exercise routine. Your body and mind will thank you for it!