Improve Health Everyday

Stay Active in Cold Weather

Exercising can help prevent the winter blues and increase your energy level. Instead of hibernating this winter, try some of these recommendations for staying active.

•     Join a class or indoor team. Many fitness classes are available through community organizations or local fitness clubs. Find one suited to your taste.

•     Walk the mall. Go shopping and use the mall as an indoor track.

•     Keep busy with household chores. Everything counts, from vacuuming to shoveling snow. You can multitask by getting a workout while cleaning your house.

 Of course, you can also choose to take your workout outside in the winter. Whether it’s running, snowshoeing, skiing or skating, wearing the appropriate apparel is important.

•  Wear layers. Start with a thin synthetic material that can draw sweat away from the body. The second layer should be an insulated layer, such as fleece. Finally, top with a waterproof, breathable outer layer.

•  Cover your extremities. Your fingers, toes and ears are most susceptible to frostbite, so be sure to wear warm gloves, socks and a hat.

•  Remember sunscreen. The sun’s rays are reflected off of snow, so it’s possible to get sunburn even if you are cold.

“Exercising during the day when it’s warmest helps boost your mood and may help ward off seasonal depression,” says Laura Bartley, MS, CEP, clinical fitness coordinator with Sentara RMH Wellness Center. “Regular exercise also helps condition the body for shoveling snow, and it boosts your immune system to help you fight off winter germs.”

There’s no need to hibernate during cold weather. With some creativity, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle even when the temperature dips outdoors.

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