Whether it’s thick sweaters or pumpkin-flavored everything, winter can lead many of us to head in the wrong workout direction as temperatures cool.
Exercise in warmer months is easy; sometimes it’s just a walk after dinner. But in colder weather, outdoor options aren’t as inviting, and so many people spend more time on the couch instead of being active.
But there are fun ways to interact with family and friends when it’s cold outside and get some exercise in the process.
Here are some options:
Millions of people hit the lanes every year, whether just for a fun night out or as part of a league. It’s a sport that appeals to all ages, including seniors.
The benefits of bowling include:
- Cognitive improvement
Learning a new skill keeps your brain in training mode, and bowling presents a new challenge with every frame.
- Social engagement
Family, friends, a league — whatever the case, you’re spending time with other people, and that can help brighten your mood during darker winter months.
- Physical fitness
Bowling balls aren’t light, so you’re using arm and upper-body muscles with every turn. You can also burn upwards of 200 calories per hour depending on weight.
Put some spring in your step
If bowling is not your thing, try trampoline time to burn calories.
This new twist on exercising uses wall-to-wall trampolines to provide low-impact aerobic exercise that works your core while also building strength.
You can try:
- Running in place
- Mountain climbers,
- And more as part of a program, which can be designed for any athletic or skill level.
If you don’t have access to a trampoline facility, you can try these exercises as part of a circuit training program anywhere that’s convenient for you.
Skate on by
Prefer to stay tethered to the ground? Try ice- or roller-skating to get moving and raise your heart rate.
Ice-skating is a joint-friendly, low-impact workout that helps improve balance and coordination. It uses a lot of small, stabilizer muscles in your hips, knees and ankles, while also toning larger muscles in your legs and core. Just go slow to avoid slips and falls — and bend your knees to help keep control, especially if you’re a new skater.
At the roller rink, skating gets your heart rate up, helping to improve circulation while burning calories. It’s also an aerobic, full-body workout, helping improve balance, coordination and core strength.
Mix up gym time
If traditional exercise is more your speed, try something new at the gym to keep your mind and body engaged. Try individual or trainer-supervised strength training, cardio classes, cycling or swimming, and take a look at what Fitness Your Way can provide if you’re a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee member.
BCBST members can also access discounts at thousands of fitness center and specialty studios nationwide through Fitness Your Way, a discount fitness network offered through Blue365.
It’s easy to let exercise slide during colder months, but doing that can negatively affect your mood and your health, so pick up one new healthy hobby for a few weeks and see how you feel.
For information on eating healthy in winter months, click here.