For many of us, winter is either right around the corner or already here. As I write this, it’s close to 80 degrees and sunny here on my little island in North Carolina, but I know that will be changing quickly in the next weeks. I’m a pretty tough person but have to admit-I’m a big baby when it comes to cold weather! I absolutely despise being cold; I hate wearing heavy clothes, I hate gloves on my fingers, and if it were up to me, it would be 40 degrees and snowing from Christmas Eve until New Years-and then right back to 80 degrees for the remainder of the year! Cold weather makes me want to stay inside, bundled under blankets, in front of a fire, doing nothing but waiting for spring, but I know that I can’t do that for weeks or months on end and still feel energized and healthy. Winter, for me and I’m sure many others, means putting a little extra thought and effort into getting my exercise in, as well as making sure I get a little vitamin D from the sun. I thought I’d share a few winter movement ideas to get you motivated, maybe even excited, about the upcoming colder months.
I’m not a winter girl, but I spent much of my early life ice skating. It was my obsession in my teens, and I spent hours at the local ice rink and skating on a little pond in my Baltimore neighborhood. Skating is wonderful exercise in all forms-hockey, figure skating, or even in just attempting to stand up! If you have access to smooth ice, whether in a rink or in nature, grab some skates, invite a few others and try it out.
Snow is not really a thing where I live, and while I find it beautiful and peaceful, my last few years up north gave me more than enough for a lifetime! If you are in an area that gets snow, use it to your exercise advantage! Skiing, sledding, tubing, and snowball battles are all fantastic way to get some exercise in while having a great time with friends, family and neighbors. Bundle up appropriately, grab whatever gear is needed, and get out and enjoy acting like a kid again-you won’t even realize that you’re getting fitness in, I promise!
Winter runs and walks
As much as I consider myself a summertime girl, I do love to go for long walks in the snow. Nothing is quite as peaceful or beautiful. Walking and running in cold weather requires a little more consideration for how you will be dressed, so be sure to take dampness and windchills into consideration. If you walk or run in snowy or wet weather, be sure to keep your feet dry and warm.
Because I’m originally a born and raised Maryland girl, I’m a big fan of the phrase “crabcakes and football, that’s what Maryland does!” Touch football was a huge part of my childhood, and it can be so much fun to pick up a game with family and friends. Nothing is better than a cold Saturday tossing the ball around with generations of football lovers. This can be a super fun way to enjoy all aspects of the holiday season while getting some movement in and enjoying those you celebrate with.
If you are in a place with terribly cold or wet weather and winter in especially long, consider scheduling some indoor exercise each day to keep you feeling fantastic:
Yoga There’s something very cozy about winter yoga. I do yoga daily year-round, but wintertime yoga may be my favorite. I love to set up my mat near a window and do my practice in the soft light of the winter sunshine. The poses and the stretches warm my muscles slowly, and the warmth stays with me for quite a while after finishing. For more info on beginning a yoga practice, check in HERE.
If you have access to a treadmill, your exercise plans can be very simple in winter months! Schedule time each day to get your steps in, vary your pace or incline, and mix it up while never venturing outside. Put on a great playlist, or load up some Netflix, and the time will fly right by.
Easily my favorite way to get some incredibly fun fitness in! Most nights you will find me cooking or cleaning up dinner while dancing and singing to whatever music inspires me at the moment. It’s a fun way to get my heart rate up and goof around before settling in for the evening. If you have kids around, invite them to join in-some of the best memories of my kids growing up were the impromptu dance parties after dinner time.
Online fitness apps
If you’re interested in a scheduled, focused, trainer type program to get you through the winter months and beyond, consider a fitness app. Openfit, Fitbit, and My Fitness Pal are just a few that offer a wide variety of programs and challenges to keep you motivated and inspired. Choose from stepping classes, yoga, mat Pilates, running, weights, cardio and more, and fill up your winter schedule with feeling GREAT. I’ve used all these apps, and Openfit is by far my favorite! They run both live and on-demand classes with fabulous trainers in an online virtual community experience that is super fun and interactive.
I hope you got a little winter fitness inspiration from this post! As always-make sure you pick movement that you enjoy! If your holiday season is very scheduled and busy, be sure to add some daily movement time into your calendar. Daily movement will keep you energized and focused, keep your metabolism in check, and even help you sleep better. If you are traveling this holiday season, be sure to have a plan for getting your movement in. Check with your hotel for fitness centers, invite your guests out for walks, or do a little yoga in your room each morning.
Get up and get some movement in, spend a little time showing yourself some care and love, and make this holiday season a fun, fulfilling, and healthy one. Happy Holidays!!! ~Sami Bee Scarborough Certified Health and Wellness Coach