Being active is important but becomes harder in the wintertime. The key is finding fun things to do. Aim for 30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for kids of moderate activity daily — no matter the weather!
Once the weather turns cold, snow and ice can make some activities difficult and even unsafe! Don’t let that be an excuse to cut back on your exercise. Consider these indoor activities:
n Walk your local mall or store.
n Take the stairs.
n Walk around your building’s hallways during lunch or on breaks.
n Give your house a thorough cleaning. Wash the inside of your windows, vacuum or shampoo the carpet, or clean out your closets.
n Exercise indoors at home or a nearby gym.
There are many ways to enjoy the snow and ice when being active outdoors.
n Walking Outdoors — Walking is a year-round activity the whole family can enjoy, but it can be difficult in snow and ice. Rub the bottoms of boots with sandpaper, put hex screws into your shoe soles or purchase some traction cleats and poles to decrease your risk of falling. Because there’s limited daylight in the winter, wear reflective clothing if you plan to be out early in the morning or late in the evening.
n Playing in the Snow – Bundle up the family to play in the snow. You can build snowmen or a fort, have a snowball fight and/or make snow angels. Playing in the show is certainly more fun than shoveling it, but you can also get a great workout clearing your driveway.
n Ice skating — Ice skating is great for family fitness. How long and fast you skate determines how many calories you burn. One advantage to ice skating over skiing is that it’s not as costly. Most rinks rent skates.
n Snowshoeing — A total-body workout plus great fun, snowshoeing will strengthen your leg muscles while getting your heart pumping and oxygen going to your lungs.
n Ice hockey – Ice hockey has similar health benefits as ice skating. Gather a few friends together to play. Some friendly competition may keep you skating longer — and the longer you skate, the more calories you burn. Before you skate, ensure everyone wears appropriate protective gear.
n Sledding/Tubing — Sledding/tubing uses several muscle groups to steer as you speed down hills. However, walking uphill is where you get the most benefit — climbing hills is an aerobic exercise that’s great for leg muscles.
n Downhill skiing — Although lift tickets and other costs make downhill skiing expensive, it is a great fitness activity. It’s not as intense as cross-country skiing, but you still end up burning many calories. Most people do it for hours, so the calorie burn can really add up.
n Cross-country skiing — Cross-country skiing is a great winter workout because you use both your upper and lower body to move. It’s hard work, a terrific calorie burner and you can do it in a nearby park.