1. Exercise Boosts Your Mood and Motivation
When the winter weather arrives, it can be challenging to rise up from the couch where you are warm and relaxed. Do you find yourself staying indoors and avoiding the ice and cold at all costs? In the summer, it’s easy to stay active: we go for evening walks, garden, do lawn work, or join outdoor activity groups. During the winter, it’s important to change your exercises to fit with the season. You could join an indoor mall walking group or join others who cross country ski. Many community centres have winter programs for every fitness level.
Meg’s Fit Tip:
If you know that your motivation to move goes down in the winter, join a group with a friend. If you have a good friend to keep you accountable, you will be less likely to skip your Zumba Gold class for a bag of chips on the couch.
2. Exercise Fights Seasonal Affective Disorder
We all have days where we lack ambition, are tired or sad. It is good to acknowledge these emotions. However, SAD -Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs when you feel depressed, lose interest in things that usually excite you, and you have trouble sleeping, for an extended period of time. When you feel this way, it can be difficult to initiate exercise. When you exercise, you release happy hormones, endorphins, which lift your mood, make you feel happier, and also help to diminish the perception of pain. This means that whether you have chronic pain, depression or you are just sick and tired of the winter weather, exercise can lift your spirits.
Meg’s Fit Tip:
A great exercise that will get your heart pumping is going up and down stairs. Go to the flight of stairs in your home (a stairwell in a condo works too!), set a timer for 3-5 minutes and count how many times you can go up and down them. This simple exercise is a great way to keep your legs strong and it will help you improve your balance so when you cross an icy parking lot you have more confidence.
3. Exercise Builds your Strength and Stamina for Winter
Do you have a winter trip coming up? Are you a snowbird? Do you cringe thinking about walking in the large airport, dragging your suitcase, or standing in line ups? Strengthening your body will help you when you travel and as well give you the energy you need to enjoy your trip. I’ve talked to many older adults who sadly have had to stay back while their family members go off to do active day trips or hiking excursions.
Meg’s Fit Tip:
Purchase a resistance band and bring it with you when you travel so you can maintain strong arms and legs. Exercising 15 minutes in the morning when you travel will give you a boost of energy, ensure you can keep up with the activities of your choice, and help you sleep better!
Here is a link to the AIM Fitness YouTube Channel’s most popular exercise video with over 300K views: