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5 Simple Ways to Stay Active in Colder Weather

If you prefer to get your exercise outdoors, you may find it difficult to stay active when cold weather arrives. But it’s important to keep moving – exercise lowers stress hormones and decreases inflammation in the body, which may help you avoid illnesses like the cold and flu. Plus, regular physical exercise helps alleviate chronic pain.

If you’re not a fan of skiing, snowshoeing, or other winter wonderland activities, there are still plenty of ways you can stay active as the temperatures get colder, even if you can’t or don’t want to drive to the gym.

1. Use The Indoors to Your Advantage

Do you work or live in a building with an elevator? Challenge yourself to use the stairs more often – you’ll burn around 5 to 10 calories per flight of stairs.

Other ways to use the indoor environment include:

  • Going for brisk walks around the mall
  • Walking to a coworker’s office to chat instead of sending them a text or email
  • Investing in an adjustable stand-up desk, if you work from home

Little bouts of physical activity throughout the day really do add up.

2. Set Reminders

The best type of physical activity is one you’ll do consistently. To help yourself build a habit, set reminders on your phone, schedule your workout sessions into your calendar, or hang sticky notes for yourself in your home, office, and car.

3. Don’t Channel Surf

The next time you’re watching television and a commercial comes on, resist the urge to flip the channel. Instead, stand up and do a few stretches or bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, or push-ups.

4. Check Out YouTube

Hit the internet for some instructional workout videos you can follow along with in the comfort of your own home. It’s easy to find workouts that require little to no equipment.

5. Make Your Chores Work for You

Yes, it’s true: Indoor and outdoor chores around your home count as physical activity! You can even add a little extra intensity to your chores (vacuuming, sweeping, shoveling, etc.) by wearing a backpack or weighted vest. Just keep in mind that if you do spend time doing outdoor chores, you’ll need to practice some smart cold weather safety tips:

  • Wear layers
  • Wear sturdy footwear and be mindful of snow and ice (potential tripping hazards)
  • Stay hydrated
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, including confusion, incoordination, slower reaction time, extremely cold hands and feet, slurred speech, shivering, and sleepiness

Take Care of Yourself 

Think of exercise not as a task, but as a necessity for your health. If you find exercise difficult due to pain or immobility, please contact Integrated Pain Solutions. Our pain control team can develop a plan of care that gets you back on your feet again! (614) 383-6450.

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