Tips for increasing winter activity

These tips can help keep you active during the cold winter months.

It is cold out, but that doesn’t mean we can decrease the amount of exercise we need to stay healthy. Michigan State University Extension suggests following USDA guidelines when starting a physical activity program. Winter presents challenges with cold weather and snow in abundance. What can we do to keep up an exercise program?

If you are an outdoor person, there are many winter sports that can be added to your activity program. Snow provides an exercise program even if you are removing it. There is also downhill and cross country skiing. These are a couple of very active sports ,but there are many more. If you walk in the summer most of the time you can walk in the winter. It may take a bit more effort to dress for the weather, but it can be done without extra cost. Encourage your family to exercise with you, like building a snowman, ice skating or sledding as a fun activity.

Winter is not a time to stay sedentary. It may be harder to be active outside, but it is still important to stay active in some way. It is not always about burning calories, but physical activity, or exercise of some sort, keeps your joints moving, increases oxygen flow and gives you more energy.

Here are some ideas for indoor exercise just to stay moving in the winter: ride a stationary bike, zoomba, dance, walking in place or use a walking video. If you’re watching TV, exercise during commercials, they are four minutes each. House hold work can also count vacuuming, stand when folding clothes and mopping the floor. Whatever your activity may be, stay on track and set goals to increase activity.

You can also check with your doctor to make sure you are able to add heavy lifting or breathing in cold air when outside in the winter. Becoming physically active is good for you, but make sure your body can handle the extra strain that outdoor winter activity can create.

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