Whether you’ll be living in a cold climate this winter or taking a trip down south to a warmer one, there are quick and easy ways to stay active and healthy throughout the season. Getting regular exercise is the best defence against aging and the other illnesses that may come along with it, such as heart disease and cancer. Staying active also helps you control and maintain a healthy body weight, which is also a big factor in staying well.
Here are a few simple ways to get moving and stay healthy throughout the winter months.
Go for a walk.
Sounds easy enough, right? Experts say that just a 30-minute walk can have major benefits for your overall well-being – it can be great for your cardiovascular health, it will strengthen your bones and muscles and it can help increase your endurance. And you don’t necessarily have to walk outdoors (although the fresh air can be a great incentive); doing laps around a mall or an indoor field can also be a great way to get in all of those steps without getting bored with your surroundings or routine.
Sign up for a class.
What class? Any class! There are classes for just about anything, from dance and yoga to cooking, hobbies, art and more. And, depending on your comfort level, you can enrol in an in-person class or something virtually (the great part about online classes is that you can sign up for almost any class anywhere in the world). A class can be a fantastic way to either get in some much-needed physical exercise or to work out those mental skills. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect and socialize with others, as well.
Stretch. Every day.
Before you add any sort of stretching into your daily regimen, make sure that you start off slowly, especially if you’re a beginner. If you’re new to stretching, you should avoid doing so in the morning when you’re at your stiffest – instead, finish off the day with a gentle 10- to 15-minute session. As your flexibility and stamina increase, you can lengthen the amount of time for which you work out and when in the day you choose to do so.
It’s also important to be careful with your balance. Certain stretches can require some sort of leaning, so make sure that you have something to help stabilize you, such as a chair. Also, be sure to wear proper clothing and footwear to avoid discomfort, slipping or falling.
Buy a fitness watch.
Fitness watches are all the rage right now. They come with a plethora of features, from counting your daily steps to monitoring your heart rate and sleeping patterns. Some can even be synced with other devices, such as your cell phone. A fitness watch can be useful for many reasons – not only are they helpful in keeping track of your overall health, you can also start setting goals for yourself (tomorrow, I’m going to try and do 500 extra steps, for example).
Pursue a passion, new or old.
Having some sort of passion project is so important. Not only does it give us something to focus on, which is beneficial to our brain health, it should be something that brings you joy and happiness as well, meaning that it will give your mood a boost. The hobby which you choose could be anything: reading, painting, woodworking, playing music, cooking and baking, scrapbooking, sewing, knitting, puzzles – the sky’s the limit! It can be something that you enjoyed earlier in your life or something that is brand new, which you’ve always wanted to try. Now is the perfect time to integrate a hobby or pastime into your everyday life. It will give you something to focus on and keep your mind sharp. In the long run, it will help you live a more dynamic life.
No one wants to do things alone, at least not all of the time. Find a partner to have some fun with. Sign up for an exercise class together, even if you’re both logging in virtually from your living rooms. Start a bike riding weekly meet-up (or more often than that!) with a friend. Ask your spouse to take a dance class with you. When you have someone who is expecting you, you’ll be more inclined to take part in the activity. And, in the end, you’ll both benefit from staying active.