Guest Post: Winter Fitness: Why Staying Active Is a Must

When it’s cold and blustery outside, it can be easy to persuade yourself to stay indoors. Why go outside when it’s warm and cozy in front of the fire? While it always feels nice to snuggle up for a day to relax and recharge, it’s very important that you continue to stay active and get outside into that fresh air.

If you’re not sold on giving up your cozy spot on the couch for a walk around the windy block, you should know that there are a lot of benefits to regular exercise and getting outside in the winter. Even if you just head out for a brisk walk, your body will thank you; there are a lot of benefits to being outside that being indoors simply cannot provide.

If you’ve been enjoying the indoors for a little too long, check out the information below to learn about the top reasons staying active is a must in the winter:

It will improve your mood.

Even if you’re warm and cozy indoors, you might have noticed that your mood hasn’t been very positive. Staying cooped up for too long has the ability to lower your energy levels and cut off your communication with others. If you’ve noticed an increase in irritability, get on your winter gear and get some fresh air. According to studies, being outdoors and in nature can improve your mood and even help to alleviate depression and boost overall well-being.

Even taking a short walk or doing some outdoor errands can help to improve your social interactions and physical activity, which, in turn, helps you to feel more alert, productive, and positive. If you’re having a hard time getting out, make plans with a friend at the same time every day so that you are both held accountable for getting outside to enjoy some quality time and social contact.

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It helps you stay in shape.

We all know that the holidays are a prime time for relaxing, parties, and indulgences. While it’s nice to treat ourselves for a few days over the break, it’s important not to get comfortable with becoming stagnant or continuing to have an unhealthy diet.

If you’re prone to staying indoors through the colder months, getting outside is an absolute must to helping you stay in shape. There are lots of classes you can partake in indoors, including weight lifting, yoga, and boxing to help you maintain your pre-holiday physique. In fact, even a 20-minute walk will do your body good from a full day inside. It’s important to remember that just because it’s not beach season yet, that doesn’t mean you have to let all your hard work from last season go to waste. Take the opportunity during the slower season to treat your body well and get off the couch frequently to stay in shape.

It improves your immune system.

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Getting outside in the wintertime is very important to a healthy immune system, and avoiding the outdoors can increase your chances of sickness even if you aren’t in contact with other people. Staying indoors for too long means that you’re breathing in the same stale air all day long, increasing the chances of sicknesses that can be avoided with fresh air.

It’s been reported that the outdoor elements in nature act almost like a multivitamin for the body, providing us with nutrients to protect us from things like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, mental health problems, and more. Getting outside into the sunshine can also help to improve our intake of vitamin D, which allows the body to produce hundreds of antimicrobial peptides that are essential to fighting off various infections.

It challenges your comfort zone.  

If you worked hard all summer and fail to maintain a level of physical fitness and health, then the winter season is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself in a new environment. While it’s easy to travel, jog, walk, and work out in the warmer months outdoors, the wintertime poses challenges like roads closures, colder weather, and less daylight.

Staying active will be a must, as it will help you to overcome fears and excuses that come along with exercising in the winter. Write down some goals you have for yourself over the winter season (taking a class, losing “x” number of pounds, etc.) and remind yourself of these goals throughout the season. Once the springtime comes along, your exercising regimen will seem that much easier after you’ve successfully made it through the toughest season for activity.

It forces you to try something new.

The great thing about staying in shape is that it can be done in all kinds of ways. Even if you aren’t very good at getting to the gym in the wintertime, you can still partake in other activities that will work your muscles and help increase your endurance and cardio.

From snowboarding and hockey to curling and cross-country skiing, there are all kinds of ways to get out in the brisk air and burn some calories. The great thing about outdoor sports is that they’re often an even better way to burn energy, and you can do it in the company of friends and enjoy the views as you go.

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Staying active in the wintertime will give you the opportunity to try something you’ve never done before. Even if all of the roads are closed or buses are canceled, strap on some snowshoes and visit a friend! There are lots of sports and activities you can try to keep yourself busy and healthy through the colder season.

Staying active in the wintertime is a must because we’re much more prone to illness, poor diets, and lack of exercise when the cold weather hits. Even if you take a small amount of time out of your day to get out in the fresh air, you will be helping your body to wake up, boosting your immune system, and improving your mental health.

If you are injured or need support for activities like walking and jogging, consider quality braces for running to help alleviate discomfort and add support. Not able to go outdoors? Even if you can’t make it outside, performing indoor workouts during the winter can also make a huge difference, so be sure to find an open space in your home to get your sweat on.

Bio: The following article was written by the immensely talented Stacey Stewart.

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