Employee Wellness: 5 Ways to Stay Active This Winter
When winter comes, we become nostalgic with all the holiday festivities. As the temperatures drop significantly, we're included to drink hot chocolate under the covers and watch movies. But, the winter months are also thought to contribute to decreased energy, tiredness, and body aches reducing our desire to be physically active. Why should we care about this? Physical activity may improve energy levels, brain health, reduce your risk of disease and strengthen bones. These improvements can be seen with 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
Depending on the weather conditions, here are 5 ways you can try to stay active this winter.
1. Try Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing is a great way to stay physically active this winter! There are options to free climb or be supported by a rope and belayer. Rock climbing helps increase grip strength, improve your balance, work on your problem-solving skills and is a fun way to burn calories. It combines a cardio workout with a strength workout, but is still considered to be a low-impact activity. Rock walls can be found at some gyms or rock-climbing facilities.
2. Check Out Your Local Indoor Pool
Oftentimes, swimming is correlated with the summer months however, you can still partake in this activity during the winter. Swimming is a great exercise for everyone! If you have arthritis, you can use those joints without worsening symptoms or it is a perfect way for kids to get their energy out. Exercising in the warm pool water may also decrease depression and improve your mood. Research your local gym to see if they have an indoor pool and offer group pool classes which are an effective way to stay active and make some new friends too!
3. Walk Around Outdoor Attractions
Physical activity does not have to be boring! During the winter season, there can be many fun outdoor attractions where some could take an hour or so to walk through. Walking is a great way to get in your physical activity as it increases your heart rate which can improve blood flow and blood pressure. Endorphins released during this activity may also boost your energy! When going to the winter attractions make sure to put your safety first as there can be an increased risk for falling due to snow or ice. Some examples of outdoor winter attractions are the Ice Castles found in New Hampshire, Colorado, New York, and Utah.
4. Find At Home Workout Videos
Would you prefer to work out in the comfort of your home? YouTube is a great and usually free resource when searching for a workout video. You have the ability to choose the style, difficulty and most importantly when you want to try the video. There are cardio, strength, and yoga workouts accessible with just the click of a button. If you are not looking for a typical workout, there are options for dance workouts to some of your favorite songs.
5. Channel Your Inner Zen At Yoga
Yoga is a low-impact but full body workout. This type of physical activity may help with back pain, reduce stress and improve energy, balance, flexibility, and strength. You can find yoga workout videos online or you can check out your local gym or yoga studio for classes. If you choose an in-person class, you will have the ability to be a part of a community that will not only reduce loneliness but also allow for support and healing.
The cold weather does not have to be the reason your physical activity decreases during the winter! There are many ways to stay active such as looking for classes at your local gym or workout facilities, choosing workout videos from the comfort of your home or checking out the local outdoor attractions near you. Find an activity you enjoy this winter!
Written by: Haley McKay, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
2. Mayo Clinic