How to Keep Moving in the Winter
By Phalen M., Licensed Nutritionist, Woodbury & Leah R., Lifestyle Consultant, St. Cloud
Did you know that reduced sun can affect your circadian rhythm, causing your body to produce more melatonin (the sleep hormone)? This increase in melatonin can cause you to feel more tired and drowsy. Some people even experience seasonal mood disturbance, especially women. When we feel tired, we can struggle with our mood.
This can make it very challenging to get in our needed exercise, and it can also affect our health and well-being. Research shows that people decrease their exercise by 8 minutes in cooler months (3). It is very important that we try to stay on top of our regular healthy habits, like exercising. We have created a list of various types of activity that can help you stay fit this winter to help improve your health and your wellbeing!
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) exercise has proven to:
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Improve sleep
- Improve balance
- Keep our minds sharp
- Boost our immune function
- Lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and many kinds of cancer
- Lower blood pressure
The CDC recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise weekly. Exercise does not have to be accomplished all in one day (1). You can break up your exercises into bite size goals like 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon for 5 days total to get in 150 minutes weekly. In the winter, find a schedule that will be easy and realistic for you to follow. Finding an activity that you enjoy will help you stay on track by keeping you consistent. There are so many options to explore. If you are looking for more great ideas consult your Livea consultant for tips and tricks regarding exercising during your next visit!
So how can I increase my activity during the winter?
When choosing an exercise program that you want to incorporate into your daily routine, it is important to make sure it is something enjoyable that you want to stick with. Some ways to help make exercise more enjoyable can include listening to music or a podcast while exercising. Find a buddy to workout with. If you can’t get your buddy to join you in person, set up a virtual session while you both do an activity. This can be a great way to spend quality time with people you care about and help each other stay accountable and on track! Livea recommends rewarding your successes! This can help with motivation and make the process exciting!
Here are some fun ideas to get you started this winter season:
- Work with one of Livea’s Lifestyle Consultants for a planned workout routine using the Get Up & Move
- Snowshoeing – is a great way to get in activity as well as exploring the beauty that winter brings
- Ice skating – available at either indoor arenas or at a local lake/pond
- Walking up and down stairs or Mall walking
- Walking tracks at your local community center
- Working out online – following along with Livea’s Get Up & Move videos
- Doing some chores or remodeling projects
- Volunteer in your local community
- Sign-up for a workout class like yoga, pilates or a dance class
- Walking your neighbor’s dog and/or shoveling their snow
- Swimming at your local school or gym
- Join an indoor league like volleyball, bowling, pickleball or basketball
- Snow sledding
Tips to consider when planning for winter activity
- Find a routine/schedule and stick to it
- Monitor the weather and plan ahead
- Have a back-up plan in case a class is canceled
- Wear layers
- Stay hydrated
Winter does not have to be the season where we hunker down and become sedentary! We can choose to be active and practice an active lifestyle that will benefit our health and keep us motivated all year long! Finding some kind of activity that you enjoy doing
will help you stay in the best shape and keep you consistent with your routine! Whether you workout out hard 3 days a week for an hour or just some quick 15 minute activities
several times each day will have a great impact on your health. If you are struggling with motivation and want to increase your daily activity, please talk to your Livea consultant so they can help you reach your goals. Let this winter be the season we make positive changes to our health!
- Center for Disease Control. 6 Tips to stay active in the Winter. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/features/stay-active-this-winter/index.html
- Henry Ford Health Why do you feel more tired in the Winter? January 27, 2021. https://www.henryford.com/blog/2021/01/more-tired-in-winter
- Winter exercise is important for maintaining physical and mental health. November 11, 2020. https://theconversation.com/winter-exercise-is-important-for-maintaining physical-and-mental-h ealth-149601