For the month of December, I decided to hibernate like a big old bear. Until Christmas time came along, I would come home from work, get on my PJs, and cozy up underneath a blanket. The fitness freak, who for years, exercised every evening after dinner, had become a fitness slacker. **Gasp**
One would think that cozying up for the winter would be just the thing I needed to survive the cold grayness and shortened days of the season. But no. Rather than making me feel great, hibernation just sapped my energy and dragged down my mood. Lazing around all winter has other consequences as well.
As we all know, being a couch potato just isn’t good for our physical health. Weight gain is common over the winter; those pounds tend to sneak up on us during those holiday gatherings. And sitting around has also been linked to a higher risk of health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Now I’m not sure how bears beat the blues after they wake up from a long winter’s nap, but I do know what I had to do! To shake off them blues, I needed to shake up my life! So I stuffed my pajamas and slippers under the couch, put on my exercise duds, and dusted off my exercise DVDs. (I also got a new one for Christmas: Essentrics Toning for Beginners (which includes two 30-minute full body shaping workouts). When the weather warms up (it’s been bitterly cold in my home state), I plan on doing some walking in the fresh air. And who knows, with all my re-charged energy, I may just join an exercise class through my city’s Parks & Recreation department.
A few ideas to help you avoid the siren song of hibernation:
- Get your spouse or significant other up off that couch and drag him or her outside for a brisk walk (even 15 minutes is better than nothin’). You’ll get some exercise and reconnect at the same time (that is, if you leave your phone at home. . . )
- Are you a senior, or as I prefer to be called, an “age-empowered” person? Check out your local Senior Center – the one in my city offers a walking track and a variety of group activities, such as pickle ball, which is very popular.
- Sign up for a free subscription to Spotify for some wonderful music of all genres. Create playlists of upbeat music, get off your butt and dance! I’m not kidding. Dancing has some lovely health benefits. (If you want to avoid the advertisements, you can sign up for the premium version: $9.99/month)
- Feeling adventurous? Do some googling and find an indoor climbing wall.
- Got kids? Take ’em sledding, ice skating, skiing or hiking through a local park.
- Don’t forget to get social. My friends and I plan a girl’s night out at least once a month. You can join a book club, art class, try an escape room with friends. . . be creative!
For further reading:
9 Ways to Combat the Winter Blues – ACE Fitness
Winter Weight Gain: Why it Happens and How to Prevent it – ACE Fitness
8 Ways to Keep Fit Outside the Gym this Winter – Active.com
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