Eight ways to stay active in winter

African American woman at gym weight training

With the excitement of the holidays behind us, and warmer temps and longer days still several weeks away, it’s easy to feel tired, sluggish and unmotivated to do much of anything.

But while it may be gloomy outside, there are still fun and easy ways to stay active indoors. Aside from fighting off cabin fever, being active during winter can also help boost your immune system (remember, it’s still cold and flu season), prevent weight gain and improve your mood to combat those winter blues.

1. Do it yourself

Now is the perfect time to tackle a new tile backsplash or give a fresh coat of paint to that spare bedroom. A small improvement to the interior of your home could have a big impact on its appearance and value.

2. Tidy up

This may not be at the top of your list of indoor activities, but you’re probably more willing to clean and declutter now than when the spring sun is calling your name. Get it out of the way while you’re cooped up indoors, and you’ll thank yourself later. It’ll give you a sense of accomplishment, make you feel better about your surroundings and just 30 minutes of vacuuming could burn up to 120 calories.1 How’s that for motivation?

3. Dive right in

There aren’t many activities that benefit your entire body quite like swimming. During this colder time of year, you’ll want to find an indoor pool at your local gym or rec center. Not only does swimming strengthen and tone your muscles, but it also helps your cardiovascular system by building up your heart and lungs. Plus, it’s a low-impact exercise, which means it can be a safe option for people with arthritis, injuries and other conditions.

4. Try a class

Yoga improves balance, flexibility and strength, while kickboxing helps with coordination and reflexes. If you’ve ever been curious about these or other exercise classes, take this opportunity to challenge yourself and try something new!

5. Work out from home

Pick up a couple of hand weights and a new mat to create an inexpensive gym in the comfort of your home. There are also tons of workout resources available online. Take some time to explore the options and find something that works best for you.

6. Walk and shop

Stay out of the cooler temps, and window shop while you exercise. A brisk hour walk around your local shopping center can burn up to 400 calories2 and gives you an interesting change of scenery.

7. Bowl a strike

Bowling is a low-impact, easy-to-learn sport and a fun way to stay active and social. It burns calories, helps improve hand-eye coordination and is a great reason to get together with friends or family. And don’t be ashamed to use those bumpers if you’re a beginner!

8. Skate it out

Find a rink to do some cardio while also firming up your abs, glutes, thighs and calves. Just a 30-minute skate can increase your heart rate to 148 beats per minute.3