By: Maddie Boyer
The end of the semester is finally here and cold weather is setting in. After a particularly stressful year, it is more important than ever to be practicing self-care and be taking care of our bodies and minds. Although the cold weather may make you want to curl up in a blanket (it certainly does for me), here are some ideas for staying active even in the winter!
Yoga is the perfect indoor workout: gentle, cozy, and relaxing. However, it also has great health benefits. 55% of people who did yoga reported better sleep, and studies have shown that yoga and breathing exercises can reduce anxiety and depression. Whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or you simply want to stay inside for the day, yoga is a great option for moving your body.
Looking for a good way to lift your spirits? Try lifting! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need free weights or a home gym to get your muscles moving at home. Using your bodyweight engages multiple muscle groups and strengthens your core, making you both stronger and less at risk for injury. Try push-ups, lunges, chair dips, or calf raises to get started. Here is a 30-minute bodyweight workout that you can complete from the comfort of your living room!
It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t have to stop you from getting your mileage in! The key is knowing what you need. Personally, I love running, but I can find running in the cold really difficult without proper preparation. The key is not only layering in warmer clothes but making sure you have the proper clothes to stay dry too. Jackets and long-sleeved shirts are great because you can tie them around your waist if you need to remove a layer. Look for jackets that are windproof to keep you from getting too cold! If wind is unavoidable, run into the wind at the beginning of your run if possible, otherwise you may get sweaty and chill on the way back. Don’t forget the hat, gloves, and socks either. Really feeling like staying indoors but still want to get your cardio in? Try mountain climbers, jumping rope, or running stairs.
One of my favorite winter activities growing up was skating at the nearby park once the lake froze. If you have access to a rink or safe pond, ice skating is a great and fun way to stay active! Though this does require a bit more equipment, it is a fun way to shake up your fitness regiment. Don’t forget to mask up, as this tends to be a more public activity!
While a bit more unusual, sledding can actually have great fitness benefits! Don’t dismiss this as a childhood activity — with all the climbing hills, you can burn between 400 to 600 calories and get in a great cardio and leg workout!
We hope that this inspires you to get creative and get active this winter! Have a great winter break and stay safe!