Winter Blues: How to Stay Fit When It’s Cold Outside

Humans are different from their mammalian neighbors, the bears, in the fact, that we do not take a long winter nap in the form of hibernation. This may come to the disdain of some of those in the severe northern climates who tend to prefer the outdoors-as it tends to make being active and outdoors much harsher. The lack of light, heavy winter and holiday food, and depressed mood are enough to make you avoid your regime—here’s how to keep shape in the cold no matter the temp.

Walk a Dog

Even if you don’t have a furry friend of your own, walk a dog! Dogs are just as cranky (if not more!) when it gets dark earlier and colder-remember, they usually are stuck going to the bathroom outside! Dog owners who are stuck at work outside will pay you to walk their pup and you both get some exercise! There are even some sites where you can get credentialed and paid! Also, there are also plenty of shelters out there who’d be willing to let you volunteer to take the dogs out and about for a bit.

Participate in One Physical Activity Per Week

When there’s a lot of snow on the ground, going for a run is out of the question. Hopefully, though, your car is still running fine and the streets are clear enough to get you to a gym where you can take a kickboxing or yoga class. During the winter, you may even want to consider using a personal trainer like those from Halevy Life so that you don’t fatten up too much from trying to hibernate. Another great idea for you to stay active is to get a group of friends together to go play basketball once a week at a church gym or community center. Whatever you do, just make sure that you have one planned physical activity each week.

Make Grocery Shopping More Fun

There’s really no going around it, but you have to eat. If you’re cooking the food yourself and doing it the healthy way, then that also means that you have to go grocery shopping. When there’s snow outside, that can be a huge chore. It doesn’t have to be, though. Grab a friend and play a game of cart racing. Although you may not want to do this at a crowded store, this can be a really fun way for you to burn calories. When you get home and have to unpack all of what you got, use your gallons of milk and heavy cans as weights and do a certain amount of reps with them before putting them away.

Do the Little Things

Make everyday a little less mundane. If you can set up your desk as a standing desk, do it. Put on a Fitbit or buy an Apple Watch to be an accurate fitness tracker. Many companies and insurance plans have reimbursements or incentives for such devices now. Park the car a little further away and run to the building; it’s cold anyway! Take the stairs instead of the elevator as well. It adds up!

Keep moving—It keeps your blood from freezing!

the author

"Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan."

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