Staying Fit in the Winter

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When the weather cools down and the chances of snow and ice increase, many people tend to hibernate.  To some, it becomes a natural instinct to become sedentary during the winter season.  If you aren’t a snow bunny, it might be difficult to be creative in order to keep an active lifestyle.  There are a many options, some require money and some don’t, to keeping active.  So if you are on a budget, have no fear, it is not necessary to shell out hundreds of dollars each month in order to keep moving.

You can join a gym of your choice.  This is a great option, especially if the operating hours are long and flexible.  The gyms rarely close in the winter, unless unsavory weather strikes.  This is a sure fire way to stay active.  But not everyone can afford a gym membership or may not live or work near a gym that is accommodating to them.  You can create a gym at your home, too.  Using your own body weight against gravity can be just as strengthening as using dumbbells and weights.  Do some upper body exercises using cans from the pantry.  Start small and build up to doing these exercises while standing on one foot.  This helps increase balance, which is very important for people of all ages to continue an active life.

Increasing activity at work can also be a great way to sneak in a workout.  Many people work at a desk and sit all day long.  Recent studies have shown that sitting all day at a job can be just as harmful on the body as smoking!  Taking breaks throughout the workday to stretch, walk and move around is so vital for your overall health.  If it helps, set an alarm on your cell phone or computer to move every one or two hours.  Take a few laps around the office.  Climb some stairs.  Find a vacant hallway or bathroom stall and do some squats and lunges. Do some jumping jacks.  Do a forward bend stretch, which will help your back and legs from becoming tight in that seated position.  Stretch your arms overhead in the doorway frame to open up your chest and reduce stress in your neck and upper back.

When you break up your workout into several, small workouts a day, it is just as effective as a long workout session all at once.  It increases your metabolism throughout the day and gets oxygen and blood flowing to your brain and limbs.  It is also more manageable for many people these days.  We all too often over-commit to things and can’t take the time or make the time to get in daily exercise.  If you take four 15-minute blocks of time and get moving somehow, it will help your overall health, while keeping a schedule.

Keeping active in the winter is so important for not only you physical health but also your mental health.  It is a great stress reliever and increases hormone production that improves your positive outlook on life.  It increases immune system response, which is also very important in the winter months.  So get creative and just keep moving!



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