Most people tend to gain weight during the winter for a variety of reasons. Many of the activities you used to enjoy may be off-limits when there’s snow on the ground. You may be tempted to stay in all day when the cold starts to set in, but all that time indoors can leave your body wanting physical activity. Not exercising for long periods of time can lead to fatigue, depression, and stiff muscles and joints. So, how can you stay active during the winter? Use these healthy living tips to stay motivated all season long.
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1. Try a New Sport
If you’re looking for a new hobby during the winter, consider taking up a winter sport. These are physical activities designed to be played or enjoyed on the ice and snow. Snowboarding, skiing, and sledding remain some of the most popular, but you can also try your hand at low-speed sports like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and even winter mountain hiking. Experts say people enjoy winter sports for several reasons. It can be a great way to take in the snowy scenery or to burn off calories after an indulgent holiday meal. It’s also a lot of fun!
2. Get The Right Equipment to Keep Moving
You will need plenty of gear to participate in a winter sport, including multiple moisture-wicking inner layers to stay warm and waterproof outer layers to keep excess moisture at bay. Be sure to dress properly even if you’re just going for a walk around the neighborhood or exploring a snowy trail close to home. You won’t get very far if your feet get wet or lose feeling in your toes and fingers. Not having the proper gear won’t just make you uncomfortable — it could leave you exposed to hypothermia and cold stress. Find gear that fits your body type without inhibiting your ability to enjoy the experience. Create a waterproof seal by tucking your sleeves into your gloves and wearing long boots and socks that extend up the legs of your pants.
You may need additional equipment, including skis, snowshoes, a sled, or a snowboard, to get started, but you can also rent them at a nearby recreational center to see if you enjoy the sport before you commit to purchasing the gear. You should always wear a helmet when snowboarding or skiing downhill to protect your head from injury. Use a helmet Bluetooth communicator to wirelessly access your phone or GPS on the trail so you can keep your eyes and hands where they need to be. Just speak to the receiver to talk to your companions, check the map or call for help in an emergency. Wearing a Bluetooth ski helmet will help to keep you out of harm’s way. It makes it easy to connect to your device or companions while you focus on trekking through the wintry landscape. With a Bluetooth helmet, it’s best to leave your phone or GPS in your pocket so it won’t get wet. You also won’t have to worry about taking your gloves on and off every time you need to use your phone.
3. Start Early
Daylight savings time can make it difficult to enjoy the day during the winter. The sun sets anywhere from four to five in the afternoon across most of the U.S., which doesn’t leave much time for frolicking in the snow. Try to get up earlier than usual when it gets dark early to give yourself more time to enjoy the outdoors. It will usually be pitch black by the time you get off work, so consider taking a walk while it’s still light outside.
4. Join a Group
Trying something new is always more fun when you’re with a group. Look for local meetups in your area that spend their time outdoors. You are bound to meet like-minded people who share your interests. Being around others can enhance the learning experience. You can use their knowledge to grow your skills faster than you might be able to on your own. Regular meetups will also motivate you to stick with your new hobby, so all the new gear you bought doesn’t go to waste.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
’Tis the season for delicious home-cooked meals and extravagant desserts, but all that extra food can get in the way of your plans to stay active. You may feel lethargic or depressed after overeating. Look for healthy alternatives around this time of year and reduce your intake of fatty foods to keep your energy up throughout the day. Drink plenty of water and avoid indulging in too much alcohol around the holidays. Physical activities are much more enjoyable when your body has the nutrients it needs to stay active.
Going outside this winter is the best way to keep your body moving. It’s important to stay active all year long, regardless of how cold it is outside. Consider trying something new and keep these tips in mind to stay safe on the trail.