The cold temperatures and snowy conditions of winter force many people to hibernate in their homes. It is important for the human body to stay active throughout all of the four seasons. However, many people get little to no exercise during the winter months. There are many ways that people can stay healthy and active during this time. WebMD has provided several ideas, which include:
Go for walks with friends at the mall, local schools and churches that have indoor gyms or large areas to walk.
Get some hand weights or stretch bands to use at home for resistance exercise.
Buy or rent an exercise DVD.
Take the stairs and fit in walk breaks whenever you can. This will give you extra activity during the day.
Perform active housework like sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, doing laundry or washing the windows.
Join a gym or health club. These facilities have treadmills, stair-climbers, exercise bikes, free-weights and even fitness classes.
Get involved in sports leagues in your community or at work. Many places offer indoor sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer or swimming.
Bundle up and take the dog for a walk. This can help make walks part of the daily routine.
Shoveling snow can be a great winter exercise. If you have heart problems or other health conditions, be sure to ask your doctor is shoveling is OK. Overdoing it can lead to dangerous strain on the body.
Try a new winter activity. These activities could include skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. If you do outdoor activities in less populated areas, be sure to plan ahead. Let people know where you will be, and take the right gear for the conditions.
If you plan to be active outdoors, it is important to dress appropriately for the winter weather. It is best to wear:
A warm hat. If it's very cold, you also may want to wear covering for your face.
Layers of clothing to keep you warm. Wear a waterproof outer layer to keep dry.
Clothing made of wool, polypropylene, or a material like thinsulate. These will keep you from losing body heat even if the material gets wet. Do not wear cotton.
Wool socks and waterproof shoes. It's important to keep your feet warm and dry during outdoor activities. These socks and shoes should fit tightly, but not too tight.
Mittens rather than gloves. Mittens keep your fingers close together and you can roll them into a tight fist for warmth.
For more information, visit WebMD.com or call HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120.
People can e-mail HealthLink Littauer at email@example.com, visit its website at nlh.org or visit its wellness center at 213 Harrison St. Ext., Johnstown, on Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.