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Colder weather and shorter days make it tempting to stay inside and curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and a hot drink. If you live where winters are cold and bleak, you need to get your winter fitness groove on by staying active and moving with purpose all season long. Here are my tips for movin’ and groovin’ your way to better winter health.

Let Health and Happiness Motivate You

Every day, moving with purpose is crucial to maintaining good health, but it’s essential to keep moving throughout the cold winter months. Staying active this time of year helps keep you healthier and happier. Here’s why:

  • Exercising strengthens your immune system to more effectively ward off infections. It comes in handy during the winter when colds, viruses, and flu are most prevalent.
  • Approximately 11 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Daily exercise reduces stress and releases feel-good endorphins that keep those winter blues at bay.
  • Getting out into nature exposes you to fresh air and sunlight, helping to clear your mind, fight depression and increase your Vitamin D.
  • Winter weight gain is typical because it’s easy to turn to comfort foods that warm you and feel good. Staying active helps you safely manage your weight.

Warm-up to Better Tolerate the Cold

If you dread that icy burst of air that hits you when you first step into the cold, follow this simple advice that makes it easier to head outdoors and prep your body for a workout.

Take 5 to 10 minutes before heading outside to warm up. While still indoors, try jogging in place, stretching, or jumping jacks. Any low-level aerobic exercise will do the trick. The goal is to raise your body temperature before stepping outside. You’ll already be warm when you go out into the cold air.

Try Fun Winter-Friendly Activities

Changing up your exercise routine challenges your body and keeps things interesting. Satisfy your adventurous side by going cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or hiking in the snow. You can even go mountain biking on packed snow if you’re a bike enthusiast.

The physical workout, the scenery, and the adrenaline rush provide an exciting and unique way to keep healthy and fit.

Bring Your Workout Indoors

When an outdoor activity isn’t possible, take advantage of your indoor options.

Whether you have access to a gym or prefer to work out at home, there are many ways to get yourself moving. If you can’t get out for a bike ride, take a spin class or use a stationary bike. Run or walk on a treadmill. If you have access to fitness classes, either at a gym or using workout DVDs at home, take a class (spin, yoga, dance, Pilates, swimming, you name it!).

However you choose to move, the important thing is that you get moving

Don’t let cold winter weather prevent you from staying active. Move with purpose every day to help fight against disease, maintain your weight, and improve your mood. Get outside as much as you can to enjoy winter-friendly activities that keep you happy, healthy, and moving even if you’re freezing your butt off.

If you have questions about staying active for better health, please send me an email to share your thoughts.

Make healthy living a part of every day.

The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.

Dr. Nandi

Partha’s Rx

  • Get moving. Exercising five times a week for 30 minutes a day relieves stress, increases positivity, and combats winter depression. Don’t have a gym membership? Take a short or long walk out in the fresh air.
  • Brighten up your surroundings. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), consider light therapy. Sitting near a light therapy box for 30 minutes a day causes a chemical change in the brain that improves mood and symptoms. I recommend using a 10,000 lux lightbox. About 80% of people with SAD have achieved great relief this way.
  • Make your health a priority year-round. Are you curious to know if you suffer from one of the most overlooked health risks without even knowing it? Take my quiz to see if you have it and how you can eliminate it from your life!

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