For many people, wintertime is a very trying time due to the cold temperatures and other harsh weather conditions. Being closed up inside for long periods can negatively impact how you feel. One of the best ways to help stave off the negative effects is to remember to add some amount of daily exercise.
Activities such as exercise help to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing throughout your body. The exercise will help you in two ways, keeps your body in good shape and also helps to prevent the dreaded winter blues from settling in. There are several other benefits to exercise during the winter months as well.
Benefits of wintertime exercise
Staying active throughout the winter can provide several significant life-improving benefits. Below is a list of a few benefits you will receive just by adding daily exercise during the winter.
Helps to prevent illness – Daily exercise is a great way to give your body’s natural immune system a boost. By getting off the couch and increasing your activity daily you can improve the amount of blood flow throughout your body. This will in turn help you be able to ward off many of the illnesses that are typically associated with being locked inside during the winter.
Improve your outlook on life – Being cooped up inside during the winter tends to make people a bit glum. The gloominess and sluggish feeling is often linked to reduced activity. Adding a period of exercise to your daily routine will help warm your body which will also help to make you feel better. This will go a long way to help improve your overall outlook on life.
Daily exposure to sunlight – Sunlight provides the body with a very necessary daily dose of a very essential vitamin. Getting outside for a brief walk, or a yoga session on the back patio will give your body the needed exposure to the beneficial rays of the sun. The rays of the sun produce essential vitamin D to be absorbed into your body. Vitamin D is thought to help improve your immune system.
Daily exposure to fresh air – One of the big negatives of being stuck inside in the winter is the constant breathing of stale air being recycled throughout your home. The problem is compounded when you have to run the heater to keep it from getting too cold. The combination can be harmful to your lungs. Getting outside and breathing in the fresh air daily even for a short time can be very beneficial.
Keep from gaining unwanted pounds – Unfortunately, another negative result of being cooped up inside during the winter is the tendency to gain extra pounds. It is so easy to pack on a few extra pounds if all you are doing is sitting in front of a roaring fire, snacking, and watching your favorite TV shows.
Top 5 Perfect Wintertime Exercises
Exercise can be accomplished in several ways, especially during the winter. Many of the outdoor activities that many people partake in for fun can easily double as exercise. Below is a very short list of activities that can be considered wintertime exercise.
Fast walking – Walking of any kind, but especially fast walking can be a very good form of exercise. Getting the heart beating and breathing in the fresh winter air is a perfect combination. Just be sure to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. The sun is important to you but frostbite is a very dangerous condition.
Snow skiing – Snow skiing is a really good way to strengthen your legs and your core muscle groups. Depending on your level of skills on the slopes you can get a great workout while you are enjoying yourself. Just remember a good warmup before hitting the slopes will help to avoid muscle fatigue.
Snowboarding – You might think that snowboarding is the same as skiing however, because your weight is distributed across a single board instead of evenly on two skis the dynamic action is different. Therefore, you will get more of a total lower body and core workout while you enjoy the slopes. Just like with skiing, remember to do some type of stretching or warmup before hitting the slopes.
Ice Skating or figure skating – Lacing up a pair of ice skates and harking back to earlier days of your childhood could be a very good way to get some much needed exercise during the winter. Whether you are an aspiring figure skater or just like to skate circles around the pond, the amount of coordination and muscle control that is necessary to keep you upright on the ice can be a great workout.
Yoga – If you aren’t able to do many outdoor activities where you are located, you might consider yoga or pilates on the back patio or front porch. This will give you access to the fresh air and sunshine. Yoga is a good way to help stretch and strengthen the muscles in your lower body that often get forgotten while sitting on the couch for long periods during the winter.
We hope that this information comes in handy for you this winter and that you can use it for yourself.
Jon Is a 58-year-old US Navy veteran living in Oklahoma, OK for the past 30 years. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have three adult children. He is heavily into politics, the Detroit Lions, and the Oklahoma Sooners (BOOMER SOONER BABY). Jon is an IT Support Specialist by day and a professional writer by night. He hs been writing online for the better part of 30 years and much of it for other people. He is now geting credit for his writing!