Winter Activities: Be Sure to Stay Active This Winter

We can all feel the weather getting colder and colder, but the cold weather in no excuse for not enjoying great fall and winter activities.  There are so many activities that we all do during the rest of the year that help you stay in shape and active. There is no reason why you can’t adjust to stay active this winter with all of the fun winter activities available.  Not only is it essential that you stay active this winter for your overall health, but it is beneficial for your chiropractic health.

Overall, winter activities can help you maintain an active lifestyle can help with your chiropractic health, in terms of your joints and muscles, and like with anything, the more winter activities you do, the more strength you build up and the better you get at them.

Staying active this winter is essential to any lifestyle, but can be particularly useful in conjunction with chiropractic care.  This is not to say that everyone should have a strict workout regimen, but light winter activities in any form can be useful. Here is an article from that gives you details on simple (and fun) winter activities you can do to stay active this winter.

10 Ways to Stay Active This Winter

Winter Fitness: Why Staying Active Is a Must

Winter weather conditions may make you reevaluate your outdoor fitness routine, but hibernation is not the answer, even if you live in the chilly north. “To be most effective, fitness needs to be consistent. Staying active in the winter boosts immunity by keeping the lymphatic system active — as long as you don’t overtrain, which has the opposite effect,” explains Deborah Quilter, director of yoga at the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mt. Sinai Hospital and a movement therapist at H&D Physical Therapy, both in New York City. “Winter fitness also prevents weight gain that can occur from inactivity and holiday eating and drinking, as well as the aches and pains that arise from sedentary behavior.”

Winter Fitness: Get Walking

If you’re new to outdoor activity in winter, walking is a good way to begin. It’s an effective cardio workout that suits a range of fitness levels. “Try to choose activities that are appropriate for your abilities, and those you truly enjoy,” says Quilter. “And make sure you warm up properly.” If you’re going out walking, you can warm up by doing some simple stretches and by walking at a slower pace for the first 5 to 10 minutes of your walking routine. Additionally, be sure to dress for the weather. Choose performance exercise clothes and outerwear that allow you to layer on a thin, thermal first layer — a pullover and leggings, for instance — and then a vest, pants, and an outer shell that’ll give you warmth without bulkiness and enable you to peel off the layers as you heat up.

Winter Fitness: Head for the Hills

Winter is the perfect time for outdoor sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-based activities. “If it’s nice out, even walking in the snow is great cardio because it takes more effort than walking on a clear sidewalk or track. Also, this is fun to do with friends,” says Quilter. Snowshoeing is another enjoyable seasonal activitythat’s good for winter sports novices. It requires minimal equipment — just the snowshoes.

Winter Fitness: Go Out and Play!

Let your kids inspire you with winter activitiesthat don’t feel like exercise. After a fresh snowfall, go out and build a snowman with them. Go sledding, snowshoeing, or take a nature walk through the snowy woods. If you’re tech-savvy, you can try geocaching — a treasure-hunting game in which you use GPS devices to find hidden geocache “treasures.” If your kids are a little older, consider taking them cross-country skiing, snowboarding, or out to the local pond to ice skate or play hockey. Playing outside can be fun at any age.

Winter Fitness: Indoor Activities at the Gym

Use the season as an excuse to expand your exercise repertoire and check out new fitness classes offered in your area. If you’ve wanted to try a new fitness activity at your gym, stop hesitating and sign up. Whether you’re interested in spinning, kickboxing, or salsa dancing or are looking forward to swimming in the heated pool or walking on the treadmill, now is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself. Your new activity may even turn into your favorite winter exercise.

Winter Fitness: Indoor Workouts at Home

Be prepared with an indoor workout when the weather conditionskeep you stuck at home. “If you’re snowbound, put on a DVD that’s geared to your fitness level. The great thing about DVDs is that you can pause them if you need more time to get the position right,” says Quilter. Don’t have a fitness DVD? Look for a fitness channel on your local cable or satellite television, or find a fitness Web site you like and get a workout online. “Or, just put on your favorite music and dance,” says Quilter.

Winter Fitness: Restorative Activities

Don’t overlook gentle or restorative activities like yoga, tai chi, and qigong that can build strength, increase flexibility, and help you relax. They can also refresh your energy and improve your stamina throughout the winter. “Your energy can become depleted from the stresses of too much to do during the holidays,” says Quilter. “This can lead to diminished immunity and colds and flu.”

Winter Fitness: Household Chores

Unless you’re tuning in and working out with a fitness show, limit your downtime at the TV and computer. If you’re stuck indoors, get a jump on spring cleaning. (Remember, when the warm weather returns, you’ll want to be back outside, not cleaning the house.) Collect and recycle old clothes and used appliances that have been taking up space in your closets, and take care of the various household chores you’ve been putting off since the summer. An hour of housework burns about 200 calories; plus, this winter activity will give you a great sense of accomplishment.

Winter Fitness: Turn Shopping Into Exercise

Mall walking is a popular winter exercise, especially if you get to the mall before the stores open and focus on a brisk walking routine. By the time you finish your walking workout, you’ll be able to get a head start on your holiday shopping before the crowds arrive. Walking and window-shopping at a casual pace burns about 68 calories in 30 minutes; that number jumps to 112 calories if you hurry along at a brisker, three-mile-an-hour pace.

Winter Fitness: Volunteering

Choose volunteering opportunities that enable you to be physically active while you work. Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, participating in a toy drive for a children’s hospital, or canvassing your neighborhood for donations to a food bank. Volunteering enables you to do good for others while staying active. Seek out volunteering opportunities through your local city or town hall, religious organization, or hospital, or visit the Volunteering in AmericaWeb site.

Keep Eating From Becoming a Winter Activity

Remember that eating isn’t a winter sport, so while you may indulge in some holiday treats, follow the same healthy eating guidelines that you normally would. Build meals with lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, with some calories set aside for those once-a-year favorites, such as gingerbread cookies and candy canes. Practice moderation with alcoholic beverages, too — moderate drinking means one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two for men. At cocktail parties, exercise self-control and limit the number of appetizers and desserts you consume. All of these efforts will help you have a happy and healthy winter season.

Participating in winter activities does not mean that you have to strap into a pair of skis every weekend. Staying active during winter can be as simple as sledding, building a snowman or going for a hike.  When you go outside for all of your winter activities, be sure that you bundle up really well, because no one wants a cold getting in the way of their winter activities, let alone their holiday plans!

Despite the stress that might come along with the holidays, there is no reason why you cannot make time for some winter activities to stay active and healthy.  Doing a few winter activities and being active now will make the transition into spring easier, and you will find yourself ready to get back into your spring fitness regimen.

Another reason to do winter activities is that they can act as a way to get out of the house.  We all know that there are those times during the winter where we get so much snow that we can’t get out the door. So on those good winter days, you should be sure to take advantage and get outside for some winter activities that will help you stay active this winter.  Stay active this winter and be sure to get your fill of winter activities! Have fun!