It might seem hard to stay physically active when it’s cold outside, but don’t let winter weather stop you. On average, Americans gain a pound during the winter season. This extra weight is usually not lost over the remainder of the year. Year after year, the pounds can add up! To prevent winter weight gain and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults get 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise each week and muscle-strengthening exercise on 2 or more days a week.
Below are some tips to help you stay active this winter:
- Develop a set of regular activities that you can always do—no matter what the weather holds. For example, walk around your local mall or swim at your local community center.
- Mix it up! Don’t get stuck in a workout rut. Try a new exercise every few weeks to keep motivated and ensure your body is using different muscles.
- Take advantage of winter activities like ice skating, sledding, skiing, or snowshoeing.
- Plan ahead. Make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and add it to your calendar.
- Make physical activity social. Invite a friend to exercise with you on a regular basis. Be sure your friend adds it to his or her calendar, too.
Enjoy the health benefits of staying active. Exercising regularly during the winter months will:
- Help reduce stress. The winter season can be a stressful time with family obligations, work pressure, and travel. Being active regularly can reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better.
- Help you maintain or lose weight. You gain weight when the calories you burn, including those burned during physical activity, are less than the calories you eat or drink. Staying active helps you burn the same or more calories than you consume each day.
- Help reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
Stay active this winter season. Use these tips to help you to stay healthy and happy!
Want to know more?
Physical Activity and Health: www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html
Adding Physical Activity to Your Life: www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/getactive/index.html