Make Time for Your Health All Winter Long

During the holidays, the days get shorter, “to-do” lists get longer and exercise tends to find itself lower and lower on everyone’s list of priorities. Add in the harsh bite of cold winter weather and physical exercise may be erased off your list altogether. But getting out of the habit of being active in the winter can impact your health and make it tough to start back up with exercise again in the spring. Plus, exercise during colder months can keep you happy and healthy by:

  • Increasing your energy
  • Improving your mood and well-being (especially important for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder)
  • Strengthening your immune system

Lack of time is one of the top reasons why people exercise less frequently during the winter months. The combination of everyday responsibilities and having to prepare for upcoming family holidays and events takes up most of the day. And if you do wrap up early, wanting to put your feet up and relax can easily overcome your desire to work out. But no matter how full your day is, it’s totally possible to find moments for physical activity. Here are a few smart ways to do just that:

  • Write it into your day’s schedule. You’d never want to miss a doctor’s appointment, so you write it down in your planner and organize your day around it. Do the same with exercise. Before the start of the week, write out when you are going to exercise (not just what day, but what time) and don’t plan anything else for then.
  • Split up your time. It can be daunting to find a whole hour to go to the gym, so break up your workouts throughout the day. Getting a 10-minute power walk done in the morning and at lunch and then 20 minutes of relaxing yoga in the evening is a lot more realistic.
  • Give yourself a reason. Training for an upcoming race, like the Blue Care Network-sponsored Martian Marathon next April, is a big motivator that can push you to lace up your sneakers even if you don’t feel like it.
  • Use your downtime. Everyone needs some rest, but your TV time does not have to be completely sedentary. Just follow along to the couch potato workout plan.
  • Rethink the concept of exercise. Did you know that you can burn up to 250 calories an hour while doing housework? Whether you bust a move vacuuming, gardening or simply walking up the steps instead of taking the elevator at your office, working out can become a routine part of your day.

For more tips on ways to make the time for health in your everyday routine, check out these blogs:

Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan

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