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Staying Active in the Winter Months

Staying Active in the Winter Months

It can be difficult to stay active in the wintertime when it's chilly out. Winter is the time to cuddle under a blanket by a fire, right? It can be difficult to motivate yourself to stay active, but you have options for indoors and outdoors! Keep reading for a few ideas for staying active in the winter months.

There are a few positives of exercising in the winter:

- Luckily in the winter, you do not have to deal with heat or humidity.

- The cold winter air can allow you to exercise even longer, meaning you can burn even more calories.

- Exercising outside is a great way to get your vitamin D from the limited hours of sunlight to curb any seasonal depression.

- Working out for even a few minutes a day can help boost your immune system during cold and flu season.

Tip #1: Stay Warm

Dress in multiple layers to stay warm and dry in the winter months. Low temperatures, strong winds, and wet weather can easily make you develop hypothermia and frostbite if you aren't prepared. Wearing layers of clothes can help trap your body heat and act as insulation against the elements. However, stay away from cotton. When cotton gets wet, it will make you feel colder and wetter. Instead, use a base layer of sportswear to pull moisture away from your skin, next a layer of fleece, then a thin waterproof layer.

Several outdoor activities you can try are:

- Walking and hiking

- Jogging and running

- Raking leaves

- Skiing

- Shoveling snow

Tip #2: Know the Signs of Hypothermia

Hypothermia is when the body temperature goes below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This happens when your body can't produce enough energy to keep the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms include lack of coordination, confusion, slurred speech, cold feet and hands, and shivering.

Tip #3: Stay Hydrated

Just because it is cold outside doesn't mean you don't need to stay hydrated. The indicator of thirst shows you are already dehydrated. Continue drinking a good amount of water to keep your body healthy.

Tip #4: Get exercise indoors

Instead of just sitting on the couch watching tv, find a way to get exercise in. Try doing a short workout during commercial breaks or in between episodes.

A few indoor activities you can try are:

- A home workout video

- Dancing

- Active housework such as vacuuming or mopping

- Yoga

- Going up & down a staircase

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean your workout plan has to stop. Use these tips to stay fit and healthy during the winter months!