Exercise in winter can provide more benefit than exercise during the rest of the year, because it specifically answers our winter body needs.
1. Find a local heated pool. Walking in warm water is great for the joints. It keeps them moving and is also low impact. Plenty of Aqua fitness classes are also available at your local aquatic center. Make sure you rug up when leaving the aquatic center after you session.
2. Try exercises and stretches at home. There are plenty of DVD’s for gentle yoga and stretching available which can all be used in the comfort of their own home. Invite a friend over or ask your loved one to join in. It doesn’t matter if it’s from the chair, standing or on the floor. Just keep moving.
3. Rug up and go for a brisk walk around the local park. Ensure good quality, non-slip boots are worn. It may feel too cold to get those leggings on but moderate exercise is vital. Even just a brisk daily walk. But don’t overdo it. Enjoy a nice warm hot tea, hot chocolate or coffee when you get back home.
4. Join a social group to enjoy activities with. During winter we will often stay in the comfort of our own home and not venture out, in order to stay warm. This results in social isolation, possible over-eating, reduced energy and motivation. Meet up with a friend and go for a good shop in town and enjoy a bowl of nice warm soup with them.
5. Just Move – You don’t need to commit to a full workout to stay active. If fitness classes or at-home exercises aren’t feasible, then make an effort to get up every hour or so to walk around. Simply spending a few minutes stretching, moving from room to room, or tidying around the house is a great way to get your blood flowing. There’s no form of activity that isn’t good enough; as long as you’re getting off the couch, that’s what matters.
6. Don’t forget the most important muscle of all …. The Brain! Working your body isn’t the only way to stay active. Keeping your brain fit is just as important, especially in the winter when people tend to have fewer engagements. Find something you enjoy doing, whether it’s puzzles, crosswords, brainteasers or reading, and commit to doing it for at least an hour each day. Stimulating your mind will improve your memory, your mood and your health.