Even the most dedicated gym rats can struggle with motivation to exercise during the holidays and into the winter months. It’s cold, it’s dark and those covers are cozy. It’s easy to get in a rut.
But staying active is important for both our physical and mental well being. That goes for kids too — especially now that we’re months into quarantines and lockdowns. Regular physical activity can reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, prevent weight gain and improve sleep.
With winter upon us, let’s look at some ways to keep the whole family active.
When the weather is tolerable, make the most of it. Bundle up appropriately, and take a long, brisk walk. A little snow on the ground doesn’t have to derail your plans either — lace up your winter boots to better deal with slushy and icy conditions.
Many of us are used to exercising in the early morning or in the evening after work, which doesn’t exactly correspond to winter daylight hours. So mix it up, and block out time during your lunch hour to make the most of the sun and higher temperatures. If you’re walking in the dark, make sure you wear reflective gear so you can be seen.
Also, bundle up when you need to. Dress in layers, and protect your skin and extremities.
Many people have taken to online workout classes — whether offered through their local gym on social media, or through apps like Peloton. These can also be great ways to feel a sense of community and connection. Many classes — from cardio to yoga and stretching — are offered both in real time and on demand.
And it’s not just about the adults. Kids can also head online for exercise, using sites like GoNoodle, which offers both movement and mindfulness activities as well as Cosmic Kids, which provides online yoga videos geared toward little ones.
Be creative. Get more bang for your time by mixing physical activity with your to do list. Set a timer for 10 minutes and have everyone run around the house, picking up things that belong in a different room and sprinting them to the right place. Choose a room and rearrange the furniture together. Make a weekend date with your basement, and clean out all the boxes you’ve been meaning to look at for years.
If your gym is open and you feel comfortable and safe exercising there, follow all stated protocols and guidelines. You may want to invest in a mask specifically developed for physical activity — they’re made from breathable, lightweight, moisture-wicking materials.
Exercising During the Holidays
Don’t Sweat the Small Workouts
Remember that every little bit of movement helps. While we’re juggling so many things during this challenging time, whether it be work, kids, distance learning or simply keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe, it can be hard to fit in that 60-minute workout you’re longing for. Be proud of whatever time you can find for exercise — it’ll all pay off.
Find your moments, and start moving.