Winter can be a tough time of the year to keep up on healthy exercise habits. Yes, it can get chilly amongst all that snow, and sometimes weather does provide a legitimate excuse for not moving your body. But the season doesn't necessarily have to mean closing the door on a fun and rewarding outdoor fitness routine.
The Great Outdoors
We understand that not everyone loves wintertime in Western New York. The gloomy skies, bone-chilling temperatures and icy roads can put a real damper on what can otherwise be a wonderful season. But finding new activities to stay active and healthy can be rewarding. Have you ever thought about snowshoeing to discover beautiful and/or snow-covered landscapes? How about cross-country skiing or even a brisk hike in a park? Rediscovering some staples from years past such skating or tobogganing with a friend might just yield some refreshing enjoyment. You'll never know if an activity is for you until you jump in and give it a try. It's entirely possible you'll end up enjoying a new wintry pastime.
Warm Up With Movement
If heading into the cold air for a 20-minute walk or hike makes you want to sink further into the couch blankets, it's worth reconsidering. A brisk, heart-rate-increasing walk will warm your entire body up in short order - just make sure to wear an extra layer and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions. Working up a major sweat outside can warn you up and fuel you through some exercise -- even if it's a brief walk around the block.
Now for some really great news -- exercising in the colder weather will actually help burn more calories. No need to adjust the screen, you read that correctly. Your metabolism increases to warm up your body and that extra bit of effort leads to increased calories burned. Additionally, you can strengthen integral organs and organ systems such as your lungs, heart and circulatory system by exercising in the cold.
Keeping your regular exercise routine going in the winter doesn't have to be that scary, and like a lot of things in life, initially deciding to dive in to try something new can be harder than the actual activity. Just make sure to stay away from icy spots that could cause you to fall. If you've decided to make exercise a new part of your life, it's always best to talk to your doctor before beginning any regimen. Exercising in the winter can be a fun and mood-boosting practice that leads to all sorts of positive, new experiences. Before spring comes around, try taking up a new activity (like cross country skiing) or get back into one from when you were younger (like building a snowman). You'll be glad you did when those April showers roll around in a couple months.
Western New York Catholic Schools wishes everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. 2016 was chock full of success, fun and learning. Again we ranked atop the WNY school rankings and we're excited to start another year of collaborative effort with our incredible students, families and staff working together.