Five ways to stay active and cure the winter blahs

Ken Dallafior

| 2 min read

Michigan winters are not for sissies. In Detroit, the average temperature during January one year was just 12.8°F. Further north, some places had temps as low as -51°F!
When it gets that cold, hibernating is the only sensible option. But even then, one of the best ways to stay healthy during the winter is to do exactly what’s necessary to prevent frostbite: Keep moving!
Staying active in the winter boosts immunity by keeping the lymphatic system active,” says movement therapist Deborah Quilter. “Winter fitness also prevents weight gain that can occur from inactivity and holiday eating and drinking, as well as the aches and pains that arise from sedentary behavior.”
Fitness activities will get your blood pumping and are a perfect remedy for the winter blahs – not to mention keep your energy and productivity levels up at work. Here are five ideas to help you and your employees shake off that tired, sluggish feeling and make winter much more bearable.
Go out and play! When was the last time you built a snowman or had a snowball fight? They’re great ways to burn about 300 calories per hour. And if there’s no snow, try ice skating, which is an even better workout at 450 calories per hour.
Take walks at the mall. If you really can’t stand the cold, this is a safe, simple way to exercise without all the Eskimo gear. Medical experts say a routine of brisk walking can help lower your “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce diabetes risks, manage your weight and improve your mood.
Work out at home. Pop in a workout DVD or drag out that treadmill or stationary bike gathering dust in the basement. If you don’t have any of these, how about an inexpensive, do-it-yourself home gym? And here are 10 exercises you can do at home without any equipment.
Try something new. Winter sports such as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing are a fun way to burn off mega-calories. Maybe join an indoor sports league or take bootcamp or Zumba classes.
Refresh and de-stress. Gentle, restorative activities such as yoga and tai chi and qigong can build strength, increase stamina and flexibility, and help you relax. An added bonus: De-stressing can replenish your immune system and help you fight off colds and flu.
Check out these blogs if you enjoyed this one:

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.