I live in New England so I hear this one every day during the winter from at least one of my patients. After it gets cold, nobody wants to do much of anything around here. After there’s snow on the ground, it gets even worse. Many people just close up the doors and hibernate for the winter. No wonder we have so much depression around here. Anyway, you do not need to be like this. There are many things you can do even when it’s cold and snowy outside or even rainy.
First, if you have a gym membership, continue to use it in the bad weather. It’s OK to go to the gym if it’s snowing out. In fact, you’ll have a better workout because you’ll have the place mostly to yourself. I know it’s harder to make yourself go out in the winter because there is less light, but force yourself to leave the house before or after work and get to the gym. You’ll feel better both physically and mentally for having gone.
Get out into the “bad” weather. People call the snowy winters around here bad weather, but I disagree. I like the snow. For the first time this year, I did lots of winter hiking with my dog. We ended up having so much snow that taking her for a walk on the road was just too dangerous. The roads were constantly covered in ice and they were too narrow because of the snow buildup and I didn’t want to be hit by a car. So, I decided to start going to the local state park and walking on the trail over there. It was awesome.
First of all, my dog could be off leash and she had a blast. It was also not as crowded as it is in the summer because there are only a small percentage of people that actually will venture out in the winter. However, this small percentage was enough to pack the snow on the trails down so I didn’t really need snow shoes or anything to accomplish these hikes. Also, you have the added benefit of no bugs. In the winter you don’t really have to worry about mosquitoes and horse flies or ticks once you have enough snow. Yes, hiking in the winter is quite refreshing. You should try it.
Take up a winter sport. Pick up a pair of snow shoes and try it out. You can find them pretty cheap these days and it’s quite a workout, especially in fresh snow. You can just snowshoe around your own yard. You could also try cross country skiing, which is also a great workout. If you’re into more exciting things you could go downhill skiing or snowboarding. If you don’t want to do any of that, you can still go for a jog or take a walk in the winter. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. You just have to dress for the conditions and once you get going you’re going to warm right up.
Find a free indoor place to exercise. You can always exercise at home, but if you want to get out and do something find a place that lets you walk inside. Around here the mall opens a couple hours earlier than all the stores in the morning to allow people to go in and just walk the perimeter for their daily exercise. It works out great for people that need to exercise but don’t want to be outside in the winter.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of options for exercise in the winter months. Now you don’t have any excuses. Even if you just do one of these things a couple times a week, at least you keep moving through the winter.