This probably comes as no surprise: People exercise less often during the winter than they do in the summer. You probably don’t wonder why, as you already know colder weather and shorter days both make exercising outdoors less pleasant, convenient and safe during the winter.
Residents of Calhoun, GA don’t face quite as many obstacles to winter exercise as people who are unfortunate enough to dwell in mostly uninhabitable places, such as the Midwest and New England. The average temperature here never dips below freezing, and our average snowfall is only about 7% of the national average. Still, colder weather and darker days discourage many Southerners from getting their much needed exercise during the winter.
Don’t let winter weather serve as an excuse to fall behind in your fitness plan. Here are some of the ways you can continue staying active when it’s colder outside!
Incorporate Television into Your Workout
Thirty minutes of light exercise a day, five days a week are all it takes to realize several health benefits, including increased weight loss, enhanced memory and greater energy. If you’re like most Americans, you immediately associate the phrase “30 minutes” with one episode of a TV show. How convenient is that?
If you wouldn’t like to clutter up your living room with a treadmill or elliptical machine, then all you need to tone up during a rerun of Friends is a yoga mat and a couple of light barbells. You don’t even need weights thanks to the surprising effectiveness of bodyweight exercise!
Remember That Any Movement Is Exercise
Too many people who would like to get in better shape assume that exercising means having to work out. They underestimate the value of moving for any reason. A walk around the neighborhood is exercise. Housework is exercise. Playing with children or the dog is exercise. So long as you are moving, you are exercising!
Schedule Outdoor Exercise During Daylight Hours
Approximately one million Americans are injured every year because they slipped on ice or snow. Muscle sprains, ligament strains, compression fractures and broken bones are all common injuries from slipping and falling.
Taking care to avoid slipping becomes much easier when you can see the path ahead of you. If you will continue exercising outdoors this winter, make a habit of returning home by 5:30pm. That is the earliest sunset Calhoun residents can expect this winter. If you prefer taking your exercise at the crack of dawn instead, plan on leaving your home no sooner than 7:45am – the latest sunrise.
Try Virtual Workouts
The pandemic and government lockdowns had an inestimable impact on the way Americans live. When the gyms closed, personal trainers were still able to teach classes thanks to the power of the internet. Although the world has since relaxed, virtual workouts have remained popular thanks in no small part to their convenience. You can attend an exercise class without actually having to go to the gym – a blessing for introverts.
You don’t need an expensive virtual reality headset to enjoy virtual workouts. A laptop plugged into the TV in your living room will give you access to thousands of online programs, as well as countless prerecorded workouts on YouTube to follow along with. (Of course, there is no finer virtual exercise program than that offered by Calhoun Spine & Wellness Center.)
Dress Appropriately Outdoors
Many people assume that frostbite is only a danger to Arctic explorers. Unfortunately, it is actually possible to get frostbite at any temperature below 31 °F – and frostbite does happen in Georgia! Superficial frostbite can cause painful blistering, but in its severest form frostbite can also cause loss of coordination and tissue damage.
This is all to say that you should take care to avoid frostbite even when it doesn’t seem too savagely cold outside. Wear gloves, and avoid tight articles of clothing which could constrict blood flow to your extremities. Remember that strong winds cause your body to cool even more rapidly, thus increasing the risk of frostbite. And if you have a medical condition which reduces blood circulation such as diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, take care that you are also at higher risk of getting frostbite.
Would you like to learn more about how you can stay in shape this winter? Then we welcome you to schedule an appointment at Calhoun Spine & Wellness Center in Calhoun, GA today. Our fitness and nutrition programs will help you live your best life all year long!