No need to hibernate in the winter; you can stay active. Though experts recommend you exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week, 5-10 mins. of movement a day (or several times a day) will help with weight loss, improve your mood, and increase your heart health. Here are some winter fitness ideas. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

  1. Set goals. Remind yourself of your goals for exercise and staying in shape. Do you want to be able to walk the dog farther? Do you want to be able to play with your grandchildren? Do you want to feel healthier? By starting with goals in mind, you are more likely to succeed.
  2. Bring fitness indoors. If you can’t exercise outside, there are many ways to stay active and warm.
    • Ideas: * Walk laps at the mall.
    • Take a fitness class at the gym. Consider a Tai chi or yoga class.
    • Lift weights – if you don’t have weights, use soup cans or water bottles.
    • Work out to a video at home; has many short video workouts for free.
    • Walk the stairs at your house or work, take a walk during lunch break, or walk laps in your house for 5-10 mins. once a day.
    • Park further away at your work or when shopping to increase your steps.
    • Housecleaning can be very physical, esp. vacuuming or mopping. A weekly cleaning of your house can count as a workout.
    • Plan to watch your favorite show while walking on the treadmill, read while riding a stationary bike. At every commercial break, do 5 repetitions of sit to stand without using your arms, or 5-10 squats.
    • On occasional warm winter days, bundle up and take a walk outdoors. Sunlight and vitamin D will improve your mood!
    • To prevent boredom, mix it up and do something different every day of the week. The most important component of an exercise program is finding things that you enjoy. If you’re having fun, you will be more likely to stick with exercise.
  3. Partner up! Enlist your friends and family as exercise partners. Set a date to meet a friend at the gym or mall to walk.
  4. Pencil it in & track it. Write exercise in your calendar so it becomes part of your daily schedule, and track it in a log or calendar. Seeing your progress is motivating. Celebrate your successes and treat yourself to a favorite coffee, etc.

Health & Wholeness Committee