Winter weather can make it a little too easy to ditch your outdoor exercise routine, but hibernation is not the answer even when you live in the chilly Northwest. Research shows that taking your workouts outside not only keeps your physical health in peak condition, but also helps to boost your mood and your immune system and can even play a hand in preventing long-term chronic illness. And when you’re active year round you are less prone to injuries, so think of winter exercise as a form of injury prevention. Read below for fun ways to remain active outdoors this winter.
- Get Walking. Or even go for a run! Don’t let the rain or snow stop you from getting your cardio in. Dress appropriately for the weather and consider doing a 5-10 minute warm-up indoors to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. That way, the cold air won’t be nearly as jarring when you open the door.
- Enjoy Winter Sports. Do you enjoy skiing, snowboarding or maybe ice-skating? Winter is the ideal time to perfect your favorite winter sport skills or even try your hand at a new one. Bundle up, get your heart racing and have fun while you’re at it!
- Take a Hike. Exploring nearby hiking trails in the winter allows you to see your favorite landscapes in an entirely different (and sometimes more beautiful) way. You’ll also enjoy a unique solitude you won’t find other times of the year. Just remember, winter backcountry exploration can be dangerous. Take the right precautions before hitting the trail.
- Say Namaste. Everyone knows how great hot yoga is, but why not enjoy the amazing benefits of this mindful exercise in the cold? Many yoga studios offer outdoor classes, but you can also do it yourself. Be sure to engage in a warm-up before you head outside so your muscles are loose, dress in warm layers, then choose a few poses you’re comfortable with and give it a go.