Baby it’s cold outside-just because the mercury is dropping don’t let your activity level drop too! Don’t let the winter blues get you down and keep you from living an active lifestyle. The winter isn’t meant for us to hibernate. We still have to get up and go to work every day just like in the summer so why shouldn’t we still keep active. Here are five easy remedies to fighting winter hibernation and starting the year off right.
1. Go out and PLAY!
If you can’t seem to muster the energy to work out this time of year, try “playing” instead. You can burn quite a few calories playing indoors or out. The best part is that it doesn’t feel like working out—though you can still get your heart rate up and have an excellent cardio and muscle toning session. Take advantage of this snow filled winter and have a blast in the winter wonderland outside by making snow angels, having a snowball fight, building a snowman or sledding! These are fun activities you can do by yourself, with friends or kids. They are great family bonding activities that will leave everyone sweaty, fit and exhilarated!
2. Take up a winter sport
If, like me, you’re a competitive type, why not try a new winter sport? From skiing to snowshoeing or ice-skating, there are many great options that burn mega calories and put a whole new twist on staying active this winter. In the Dayton area we are fortunate to have the Five Rivers MetroParks that offer outdoor skating to add some scenery to your activity. Ski slopes like Perfect North and Mad River Mountain offer a lot of discounts this season and are a short drive away. This winter, try something new, challenge yourself in a way you never thought possible, and I promise you won’t regret trying.
3. Try a workout class
Workout classes are a great motivator for me. They offer accountability and the hardest part is showing up. Don’t have a gym membership? No problem! There are plenty of drop-in classes open to anyone in our area. Hot Yoga is a “hot” trend right now with multiple classes all over the Dayton area. Kettering Rec Center has some awesome Zumba and TRX classes as well as many of the other recs and YMCA’s in town. If you’re a woman, I highly recommend trying out BAER Fit Chicks! All of these classes offer great workouts in different ways and will keep you going through the cold months.
4. Try a workout DVD
Too cold to leave your house? No time for an hour workout or feel you need to spend more time at home? Try a workout DVD! You can find DVDs that offer rejuvenating workouts ranging anywhere from 8 minutes to 1 hour. I am a huge fan of the Jillian Michaels DVDs, especially the 30 Day Shred. Jeannette Jenkins also has a great kickboxing DVD that is so much fun I don’t even realize I’m getting a workout. Want something you can do with the kids or the whole family? Try Just Dance on the Wii! I have worked up some of my best sweats playing this game and it is SO MUCH FUN!!!!
5. Do your household chores
Admittedly, this isn’t my favorite option. But it does help me not spend the entire day on my couch, in my PJs, accomplishing nothing. Unless you’re tuning in and working out with a fitness show, limit your downtime at the TV and computer. If you’re stuck indoors, get a jump on spring cleaning. (Remember, when the warm weather returns, you’ll want to be back outside, not cleaning the house.) Collect and recycle old clothes and used appliances that have been taking up space in your closets, and take care of the various household chores you’ve been putting off since the summer. An hour of housework burns about 200 calories; plus, this winter activity will give you a great sense of accomplishment.
So it’s time to get excited. If you’ve never been a winter fan, start focusing on what you do love about it and how this time of year provides new opportunities for your fitness and health. From eating delicious in-season produce (oranges, kale, and chestnuts, oh my!), to curling up with a steaming mug of hot cocoa in front of the fireplace after a long workout, there is much to love about winter when you embrace it and appreciate all it has to offer.