How to Get Fit During the Winter Months
Tiffany K. Gust, MS.
Now that the temperatures are dropping, perhaps your motivation to be active has dropped as well. Exercise can actually help beat those winter blues and boost your immune system to avoid those winter colds. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated and fit during the colder months.
Change Your Routine
If you normally exercise indoors, try exercising outside in the warmer part of the day, and reap the rewards of some extra vitamin D. Emerging research supports the possible role of vitamin D against heart disease, fractures and falls, cancer, autoimmune disease, influenza, type-2 diabetes, and depression. Winter is a good time to check out a new hiking trail or walking path, especially here in St. George where there are so many options available.
Set a Goal That Motivates You
Pick a goal that goes into spring and has a date attached to it. Perhaps you want to sign up for a 5K event or a pickleball tournament. According to Psychology Today, competition motivates individuals to do more exercise by creating an aspirational mindset. In fact, attendance rates were 90 percent higher in groups where competition was incorporated. Setting a goal that will get you moving during the colder months can get you in tip-top shape for when the weather starts to warm up.
Get a Workout Partner
Combining friendship and fitness is a great way to keep you accountable and motivated at the same time. Find someone whose company you enjoy and whose goals are similar to yours. This could be a family member, a neighbor, or a meet-up group in your community.
Invest in the Correct Clothing
Clothes don’t have to be bulky to keep you warm. Choose fitted clothes that will allow you to move and stay warm at the same time. Lightweight gloves and hats can provide protection but not cause you to feel like you’re in Antarctica. Finding joy in a winter sport such as ice skating, snowboarding, or sledding is a good way to stay active.
Get Enough Sleep
Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on sleep. One meta-analysis found that exercise training generally resulted in modest improvements in sleep, and who can’t benefit from extra sleep?