5 Ways to Keep Moving This Winter
I’ve come to replace the word “exercise” with “movement.” The word “exercise” can often conjure up a very visceral feeling — and for some of us, that feeling is akin to dread.
But even if we have a happier relationship with “movement,” getting consistent activity in during the winter months can prove a bit difficult.
It’s a bit of a catch-22, though, since exercise is incredibly effective at alleviating many of the winter woes. Like our tendency to have depressed moods, to feel higher stress, and to eat richer/denser foods.
So I collected 5 of my top recommendations for how to keep movement consistent in your life, even through the colder, winter months.
1. Invest in the right gear.
I know this won’t apply everywhere in the world, but most places that have cold winters don’t have bitter, miserable, inhabitable days, all winter long. Most of us, if we are prepared with the proper clothes, can still get outside and enjoy a brisk walk or light run on most days of the winter season.
And getting outside should really be a top priority. It shifts your whole energy when you can connect outdoors, at least once a day, even if the day is gray and cold! The fresh air, open-space perspective, sunlight, and exposure to nature…it’s healing for the body and soul.
So, one of the best strategies is simply to invest in one full cold-weather workout outfit. Find warm yoga pants, a wicking thermal top, ear muffs or comfy hat, mittens or gloves, warm wool socks and sturdy running shoes or comfy hiking boots. You don’t need a closet full of options, just one set of winter workout clothes that fit, feel good, and are ready to be put to use.
For those days when the cold really is killing the motivation, having a fantastic DVD on hand can be a workout saver! I will still pop in my mid-80s Cindy Crawford workout DVD and love every shredded-jean-short minute of it. (Yes, she works out in ripped jean shorts!)
Ahhh. My favorite indoor workout option. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Smile, giggle, lighten up, and feel like you are totally cheating on this amazing good-for-you way of getting exercise in!
4. Take a Class
Many places — yoga studios, gyms, and dance studios — have pay-as-you-go options for group classes. I love taking dance classes (my favorite during college was African dancing to live drum circles!), Nia, or Zumba classes — especially when the weather is getting me down.
If I plan to meet a friend there, I’m also more likely to push through procrastination and actually go!
5. Hot Yoga
Another winter favorite is to find a hot yoga class. There is something decadent about coming in from the cold and walking into a very warm room that melts and sweats and stretches your whole body. If you haven’t tried it, do it, and give yourself a winter treat.