During winter, it can be difficult to pull the blankets back and face the cold every morning. You can either stay in bed, or you can suit up and head outside for some wintertime fun! There’s no reason you can’t stay active when the temperature drops; in fact, working out in the cold has its advantages over working out in warmer weather. Once you get outside, you’ll warm up quick as you begin to pick up the pace.

Advantages to Staying Active in Cold Weather

  1. You won't get too overheated. The cold weather might even make you feel more awake and energized!
  2. You may be able to stay active longer. Which means burning more calories.
  3. It's a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin D! Vitamin D is essential to your health. Getting out in the sunlight can also improve your mood.
  4. Staying active boosts your immune system. Exercise improves your overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system. Strive for at least 30 minutes of activity everyday.

Try these outdoor activities:

  • Raking the leaves
  • Jogging or running
  • Power walking or hiking
  • Shoveling snow
  • Ice skating
  • Sledding

Stay Warm Outdoors in the Wintertime

A little preparation can help you stay warm while remaining active in the wintertime.

Cold temperatures,strong winds and damp conditions deprive your body of heat and can cause hypothermia or frostbite. It’s important to layer your clothing in order to trap your body heat and form a barrier against the elements.

Try to avoid wearing clothes made out of cotton. Once cotton becomes saturated with sweat, snow or rain, the moisture will actually make you colder. For your first layer, try a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric. Next, add a layer of fleece; then, put on a thin waterproof jacket.

Go Inside If You Get Too Cold

Hypothermia is a serious condition that could result in death. It occurs when your body can't produce enough energy to keep warm, and your temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Symptoms can include:

  • Lack of Coordination
  • Mental Confusion
  • Slowed Reactions
  • Slurred Speech
  • Cold Feet and Hands
  • Sleepiness

Stay Hydrated

Always drink enough water, even in the wintertime. The cold can keep you from feeling like you need a drink, but your body still needs to be hydrated! Remember, if you feel thirsty you may already be dehydrated.

If You Stay Inside, Make It Count

If the cold weather prevents you from going outside, you can still stay active indoors.

Try these indoor activities:

  • Home workout with free weights
  • Yoga
  • Dancing
  • Active housework like vacuuming and sweeping
  • Gym workout
  • Roller skating
  • Stair climbing

Ready To Get Out There?

Make sure to follow the  American Heart Association physical activity recommendations  in order to stay healthy. They suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of both). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to achieve.

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