Outdoor Fitness When It's Freezing
It’s hard enough to stay committed to a fitness program when the weather is nice, but add Arctic temperatures to the mix and most people want to curl up inside with a blanket and binge on Netflix. It is possible to maintain your fitness level without spending every day inside slogging away on a treadmill. As long as you dress for the weather, you can use the winter months to take (or keep) your activity outdoors. Think of it as a chance to explore new activities and take advantage of the strength and flexibility that you cultivated over the warmer seasons.
Try New Sports
If the only hockey you engage with is on TV, now is the time to try this sport for yourself. All you really need is a pair of skates and a helmet – and a stick, of course. Most rinks rent the equipment for nominal fees, and it’s usually easy to find a pick- up game at outdoor rinks. The same goes for ice-skating. A few hours on the ice and you’ll discover a new meaning to using your core for stability.
Local ski areas are also great places to test your legs while taking advantage of the fresh air. Equipment can be rented daily from resorts or many ski shops, so you don’t have to make a big financial commitment to having an adventure. As a side note, many ski areas have outdoor ice rinks for guests, so you can ski and skate all in one location.
Running, Jogging and Walking – The Usual Suspects
Bundle up and keep going. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to become a couch potato. As long as you dress appropriately in layers, most outdoor fitness programs can be maintained in the winter months. Be sure to watch out for ice patches on roads and sidewalks, and since the days are shorter and it gets dark wearing reflective gear is a good idea.
Studies have shown that being outdoors for at least 30 minutes per day – even when it’s frigid – can boost your mood, your creativity, and your health. Exposure to sunshine can improve your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is critical for maintaining strong, healthy bones because it helps your body absorb calcium from food. So don’t let the cold temperatures get you down. Grab your coat, hat, and mittens and take advantage of all that winter has to offer.