FEATURE — Winter is always a hard time for me. With the freezing temperatures, less sunlight and even snowy weather, it can often make it difficult for us to stay active. But that does not have to be the case. Let’s talk about how physical activity can help fight those winter blues and some tips and tricks for staying active in the winter!

Stock image | Photo by sportpoint/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Physical activity provides so many health benefits, both long-term and immediate! I know that I feel so much better when I am active, and this might be why: Research shows us that physical activity benefits include improved sleep, less anxiety, reduced blood pressure, improved brain and heart health, improved bone health, improved coordination and balance, and it reduces the risk of weight gain.

Now that we have talked about the benefits of physical activity, let’s talk about some tips and tricks to remain active this winter!

Embrace the season

Go on an afternoon walk during your lunch break.
Go sledding, if there is snow (this is a fun activity to bring the kids along too!) Make sure to dress in appropriate clothes for the weather conditions.

Warm up indoors

Complete household chores at a faster pace that gets your heart rate up.
Take a few laps around your local mall.
Check out community events and classes offered at your local community center, church or civic center (they often have free classes for the public).
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
Find online exercise videos on YouTube.

Stock image | Photo by Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Make it social

Share your fitness goals with a friend.
Create a fitness club with your friends and exercise together.
Rather than going to the movies on a date, go on a walk, ice skating or dancing.

Keep it fun

Find activities that make you happy!
Associate physical activity with something that makes you happy, like listening to podcasts or books, or catching up with a friend.

Our Instagram friends @CreateBetterHealthCacheCounty created these cute graphics with even more fun ideas to stay active during the winter.

Did you know you can find us on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube? Here’s a link to those pages.

Staying active in the winter does not have to be hard! It may just require a few changes to what you would do in the summer. Just remember to embrace the season and explore your local community. Comment below on ways that you will be active this winter and fight those winter blues!

This article originally appeared on Dec. 8, 2022, on the USU Extension Create Better Health blog.

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