December may seem like the perfect month to forget your New Year’s resolutions from last year. And if you’re in a cold climate, your main objective may simply be to get from one place to another without your ears and toes freezing.
But those who do find time to exercise throughout the winter often find themselves with higher energy levels throughout the day, allowing them to stay motivated to achieve their goals. If fall semester wore you down, winter vacation is the perfect chance to get back to your goals. Try these simple tips for getting active over winter break.
Get your steps in
Winter may be when you want to give up on staying active, but it’s actually the time that you need to think about it the most. In the summer, it may be easy to walk to work and appointments, but in the winter, we instinctively hop in the car for every little trip. Have you tried using a fitness or step tracker? It might be time to get your old one back out again or pick up a new one.
Or there’s even a built-in pedometer on your iPhone under the Health app. It will count your daily steps as well as tell you how many times you went up and down the stairs–provided you keep your phone on you, that is.
Take the stairs
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator is a great way to burn extra calories without even really thinking about it. According to The Harvard Alumni Study, in the article, “Walking: Your steps to health“:
Begin modestly with a flight or two, and then add more as you improve. Take the stairs whenever you can; if you have a long way to go, walk part way, and then switch to an elevator. Use the railing for balance and security (especially going down), and don’t try the stairs after a heavy meal or if you feel unwell.
Even at a slow pace, you’ll burn calories two to three times faster climbing stairs than walking briskly on the level. The Harvard Alumni Study found that men who average at least eight flights a day enjoy a 33% lower mortality rate than men who are sedentary — and that’s even better than the 22% lower death rate men earned by walking 1.3 miles a day.
Get out and move
Family memeber running to the store for groceries or holiday shopping? Volunteer to tag along to get your steps in. If you can’t seem to find the energy to work out this time of year, you can burn quite a few calories just by getting up and moving.
Take your kids, nieces and nephews, or other family members out in the snow when you get together. Moving around in the snow is strenuous but a ton of fun, which equals the best type of exercise. No snow in your area? Ice skating rinks are all over the country–indoor and out– and another fun and festive way to get moving!
Sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, and moderate exercise is sure to work wonders. Even sitting less is great for your body. Visit the CengageBrain post, “Life Hacks for How to Sit Less and Move More” for some hints on staying in motion.
How do you like to stay active over the winter months? Share your tips below.