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How to Stay Active This Winter

When it’s cold outside, you may want to just curl up under a blanket and reach for the remote. But physical activity is important for your health and well-being year-round. These tips can help you keep moving through the winter months.

Explore Indoor Activities

Look for ways to be more physically active indoors. For example:

  • Try a new fitness video. There are workout videos and apps to fit every interest and need.

  • Enroll in an exercise class. Check out what’s offered at your local gym, yoga studio, indoor public pool, or community center.

  • Enjoy an active social life. Invite a friend to go bowling. Or take lessons in social dancing, from tango to country two-step.

  • Take up mall walking. The weather is always great inside the mall, and the restrooms and benches are handy. Go on your own, or call your neighborhood mall and ask whether they have an organized walking program.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities

You don’t have to stayed cooped up indoors all winter, however. When the weather permits, get outside and enjoy a little sunshine. Consider the possibilities:

  • Walking

  • Raking leaves

  • Snowshoeing

  • Cross-country skiing

  • Sledding

  • Building a snowman

Some activities, such as shoveling heavy snow, can be strenuous. The combination of sudden, vigorous activity and cold weather can put extra strain on your heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, talk with your health care provider about any precautions you may need to take.

Stay Safe in Cold Weather

Check the weather report before heading outside. Be active indoors on very cold or windy days. When you do go out, watch for slick patches of ice and snow.

Dress in layers, which help hold in body heat and insulate you against the chill. Don’t forget your winter hat, scarf, and mittens (they’re warmer than gloves).

Warm up your muscles before stepping out into the cold. For example, you could walk around and pump your arms for a few minutes first.

Then go outdoors and look on the bright side: The brisk air can be invigorating—and you don’t have to deal with summer heat.

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.