Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to Stay Active in Cold Weather … And Why You Should Do It

For those who didn't grow up in extreme weather conditions, the effects can hit you much harder as an adult, especially when dealing with cold. That's a stat that's been proven time and again with cross-country moves and re-locations. We also feel extreme weather deeper as we age – another stat that's been shown with snowbirds and entire generations who are getting away as often as possible. There are, of course, those who actually like the cold weather and who go out of their way for chilly runs. 

But for the rest of the population – whether you're not as young as you use to be or have never liked the chill – winter can be a rough season for staying healthy. It's harder to exercise when freezing wind and moisture are a factor, yet the need to exercise remains. In fact, staying active in winter actually helps in a number of ways, like boosting your mood, encouraging the metabolism, and offsetting heavier meals that we crave on the worst of days. 

Staying Active in All Seasons

One way to get moving while avoiding the cold is to join a gym, which will provide a comfortable environment for exercise. However, if you can stomach it, outdoor workouts offer fresh air, a perk that helps the immune system and expands the lungs, and rougher terrain, which can advance your workout.    

Another route is to dress for the occasion. Layers are ideal, but you should also look into the type of clothing you're wearing; dry-fit and wind-blocking materials will do you the most good. 

Or, mix and match by getting outside when it's (somewhat) nice, then plan longer workouts inside when it's just too unpleasant. But no matter how you plan your winter activities, try to stay active all season long. It's a method that will do wonders for your health – and on all levels – and make it much easier for you to transition back into spring with a healthier, more fit you.