Winter is approaching fast, and unless you’re a bear, the cold season is not an excuse for you to hibernate. Your doctor might not see you when you’re sleeping and know when you’re awake, but on your regular check-up next spring, your doctor will know if you’ve been bad or good.
Holiday gain should be the least of your concern this coming winter. With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming worldwide, making sure you’re physically fit has become of utmost importance. But don’t worry because you’re not alone. You know how hard it is to find inspiration to work out.
It is perfectly understandable if you’re not feeling motivated to do bench presses on Christmas. Winter is like three-month-long snuggle weather, after all. But there are still other ways to remain physically active during this chilly season.
Here are six activities you can and should do to avoid a sedentary winter lifestyle:
1. Nature Walks
There’s a certain elegance in the simplicity of this physical fitness activity. Winter is the perfect time for jogging and walking. Health experts have proven that cold-weather running has certain benefits other seasons don’t have. The cold weather helps make your body feel more comfortable as you jog, thus lengthening your jog time and increasing calorie burn. The sunlight is also less harmful during winter so getting your vitamin d on is a bonus.
2. Play with the Kids
Even making a snow angel needs physical movement. Let your exercise routine revolve around the family from time to time. Make working out an adventure and play with your family in the snow. Building a snowman provides multiple opportunities to squat and bend your knees. Having a snowball fight can also be a good way to burn some calories since you’d be running around and raising your heart rate. Most importantly, playing with your kids won’t feel like exercise due to the fun nature of such activities. You’d just be spending time with your family while actively staying healthy as a bonus.
As an aerobic sport, many people believe skiing is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular endurance. And with the COVID-19 virus on the loose, you need to strengthen your cardio as soon as possible.
Skiing also makes your bones and joints stronger. Since you have to control your weight when you ski, you burn calories as well.
With that, it’s about time to get yourself new equipment and have fun while working out. If you don’t have any of these yet, you’ll need to get winter apparel like a jacket, gloves, pants, and boots. And you’ll need dedicated ski gear like goggles, ski poles, and skis like the Blizzard Black Pearl skis before the first snowfall to get huge discounts and enjoy reinforcing your core muscles like a pro.
If you haven’t truly mastered the art of balancing yet, snowshoeing can be a great alternative to skiing. Although it’s relatively new, this recreational activity has taken the world of hobbyists by storm.
Snowshoeing has a lot of medical benefits.
A study made by the University of Vermont states that you can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour by doing this activity. And along with increasing your cardiovascular endurance, it can also help strengthen your muscles without the standard rip-and-tear risks of regular workouts. Since you’re essentially walking, you lessen the risk of muscle strain without compromising muscle reinforcement. And because it’s just walking, you can adjust the difficulty and intensity quite easily, depending on your current physical conditions.
5. Snow Shoveling
Just like any other household chore, this is something you’d eventually have to do no matter what. However, you can turn it into something positive. Studies have shown that shoveling snow is comparable to physical activities like running on treadmills and high-intensity workouts. But to ensure your safety and avoid heartburn and severe conditions due to snow shoveling, remember to adjust the workload depending on your level of fitness. In case of heavy snowfall, doing it earlier or as it happens will be a better way of handling it than shoveling everything once the snow has piled up.
And just like any other workout routine, warming up is essential. So it is ideal to compile the snow leisurely onto one side first as a warmup before shoveling them away.
6. Sweeping and Mopping
These tasks are quite common and easily explainable. Most of your body parts get moving when you sweep, including your core, shoulders, spine, hands, and down to your feet. Plus, with the right intensity in your motion, it can also be another way to burn calories while getting the job done.
The same goes for mopping, especially if you’re using a mop with a long handle.
However, if you prefer to get down on the floor and wipe it with your hands, you’d be adding more arm, shoulder, and back strengthening to your routine. And if you’d instead use your feet and wipe the floor as you walk around, you’ll get to use your abdomen, lower back, buttocks, thighs, and legs more. But whichever method you use, you get to work out and clean the house simultaneously.
It’s important to realize that your responsibility to keep your body healthy does not have scheduled rest days. There’s no Pause button that you can press. Resting is a crucial part of staying healthy, and you deserve to have time to rest and unwind. But keep in mind that even when you’re relaxing, there are still ways to keep your body active and fit. All you have to do is start moving.