With winter in full swing, my own inner “couch potato” surfaces, with the urge to stay indoors and hibernate! Who doesn’t love to go out for a stroll in warm, sunny weather? But what happens when it’s windy, freezing and icy outside?
While it’s great to go out to a gym, or a class, I’m always asked if you can stay active without those specific activities in the winter months, and if there are reasonable alternatives. In a word: YES. (Note: my hat goes off to those who bundle up with high tech waterproof shoes and thermal underwear to brave the cold – I’m trying!!).
We all have to work at consistent activity, for both good health and weight control. I have two words for you: “keep moving” – at least 30 minutes a day.
It’s a great foundation for lifelong physical activity.
Little things you can do every day add up – what I call “activity of daily living”. Once you put your mind to it, you’ll be surprised to see how easily the time accumulates. Here are some of my favorites:
- Take the stairs, even an extra floor or two counts.
- Park further away from the building entrance in a parking lot.
- Lose the TV remote and get up to change the channels.
- Walk around while talking on the phone.
- Taking an extra lap around the mall to “window shop”.
- Be “inefficient” at home, and make multiple trips around your house.
Try wearing a pedometer to chart your progress – every 2500 steps is about 1 mile, and burns roughly 100 calories. This takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on whether you’re moving at a brisk pace or a casual stroll. That’s about 10 pounds in a year.
What are some of your “activities of daily living” in the winter months? Drop me a line!