The colder weather is here, and with the chill, it becomes time to update your fitness routine — especially for those who have gotten used to exercising outdoors or are nervous exercising in the snow and ice. Whether the colder climate keeps you indoors or it would be unsafe to exercise outdoors, have you considered what options you have for exercise and how to stay safe and warm? This blog will give you options and recommendations of diverse ways of staying active during colder months.
As the weather changes, new routines must be created to stay active and maintain good mental and physical health, especially when we are stuck inside. Continuing to stay active keeps the heart strong and can decrease the chances of being diagnosed with conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Gauge what intensity is right for you by how you feel — and what you can handle. A moderate activity level will quicken your breathing and you will develop a light sweat after about 10 minutes of activity. Though it is more difficult to talk, you can carry on a conversation.
Vigorous exercise intensity can feel challenging. If you are doing a vigorous workout, your breathing is deep and rapid, you develop a sweat after only a few minutes of activity and you cannot say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
Both moderate and intense activity can be good for the body, but something that is not followed as often is stretching. Stretching improves mobility, balance and warms up the body.
Stretching can be done everywhere and should be a daily routine for everyone, but especially for those 60 and up. There are targeted stretches for each major part of the body, from neck extension and flexion (the up and down movement of the neck) to shoulder and arm overhead stretches, and even seated toe top, upper back stretch and seated hamstring stretches.
For those that require a more moderate level of exercise, swimming and water aerobics, chair and restorative yoga, walking, resistance band workouts, stretching and wall push-ups are all great options. These are easier on the body and will not cause major strain on the body, joints and muscles.
If you prefer outside workouts, even during the winter, it is imperative that you dress in warm layers and consider a compression sock with Merino wool, like those from CEP, with its trademark compression profile that improves circulation and reduces foot swelling. The Merino wool regulates temperature for ultimate comfort and moisture management, making them great for all day, everyday wear. This fabric is naturally durable, antibacterial and blister-proof.
If you prefer group workouts, then fitness centers are the place for you. They offer various workouts targeting different muscle groups for all types of fitness levels. Sometimes it takes the motivation of a group of like-minded, activity-searching individuals to keep you motivated through the dreary, cold months.
If your own determination is all you need, then at-home workouts are a great alternative, especially during days of inclement weather. Using household items like cans of soup or water jugs can be great options for muscle training. If you’re able to invest in exercise equipment, like treadmills, bikes, or weights, you never have to worry about getting to a gym. But, if that’s not possible, you can also just utilize online services to do on-demand workouts, including yoga.
Did you know that even something as simple as household cleaning tasks can burn calories and count as exercise, too? It’s true! Put on your favorite music and blast the blues away while cleaning up your house – you’ll not only get an endorphin boost, but you will burn some calories while you’re at it!
Just because old man winter has arrived, it doesn’t mean you need to go into hibernation. The key is to find an option that works best for you. Your mind, body and mood will thank you for it! Which activity are you going to try this winter?