Ways to Stay Active this Winter

By Kimmi Devaney

In my family, the holidays are a crazy busy time of year. Between trying to see everyone, coordinate travel schedules and shop for gifts, healthy eating and exercise can easily be pushed aside. The good news is that with so many healthy recipes, eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. More good news: exercise doesn’t have to either! It just comes down to setting aside time for it. Think of it as ‘me time’ or time to relax.

There is no one-size-fits-all plan for exercise. Luckily, there are so many varieties that you won’t get bored! Let’s start at the gym…

  • Most gyms have treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes and more. Getting your cardio in no longer has to be a bore. Don’t forget your music!
  • Want to add some muscle and tone up? Don’t wait until January 1st to start those New Year’s resolutions. Many gyms also have personal trainers on hand to show you how to use a machine, or you can purchase some personal training sessions if you are looking for some more guidance in the weight room.
  • Classes galore! Whether you want to meditate, dance or workout boot-camp style, you are sure to find a class to fit your mood. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun! Who cares if you are new and don’t know all the moves yet, chances are a lot of other people don’t either.

In a hurry? It’s easy to fit more physical activity into your already-packed schedule. Here’s how:

  • Not finished shopping for all those presents? Allow a few extra minutes at the mall and powerwalk between stores. Carrying bags will add some resistance (aka burn a few more calories).
  • Stocking up at the grocery store for a holiday feast? Powerwalk around the store. Or, grab a hand basket instead of a cart and add the heaviest items first. Think of it as a mini weight lifting session.
  • This has been said a million times: park further away from work, the store, etc. so you walk further. These steps add up!
  • Bundle up and head outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Whether you walk or run, you will feel better when you are done.
  • If you have more time, head to the mountains for some skiing or snowboarding! Not near any mountains? Many cities have ice rinks and other winter-weather activities available.

It’s important to remember that a ‘quick fix’ for eating or exercise (ever spent hours at the gym after avoiding it all year?) will not work in the long run. Taking a little time to plan exercise appointments and menus in advance will go a long ways in making it happen.

And one last thing, if you are thinking about trying a new class at the gym in 2012, try it now! You will avoid crowded classes in January.

One Response

  1. Great article. Don’t wait until after Jan 1 to begin leading a healthy lifestyle. G

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