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Keeping Active During The Cold Winter Months

Dec 19, 2022 12:28PM ● By Stephanie Hatley
It’s well-known that increased physical activity helps you sleep better, reduces anxiety, improves balance, lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes, strengthens bones and muscles, lowers blood pressure, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and improves cognitive function. But if you’re like most Americans, it can be a challenge to stay active during the winter. Because of the colder temperatures, you don’t want to go out to the gym as often and you end up sitting on the couch more than hiking the local trails. But there are some tips to staying active during these frigid months that will not only improve your physical body but help boost your mind and soul as well.

Consider volunteering in active ways, like shoveling a neighbor’s driveway or walking a friend’s dog while he’s at work. Even doing household chores like sweeping and vacuuming keep you active during the winter. Offer to help clean the home of a family member who’s recovering from surgery or the home of a friend who just had a baby.

In addition to the physical benefits of volunteering and cleaning, there are also mental benefits. You’ll be happier, more content, and have peace of mind. Contact the Woodstock Community Food Shelf, the Upper Valley Haven, Upper Valley Humane Society, or other local organizations serving the community to find volunteer opportunities to get you out of the house and active this winter.

One of the most popular ways to stay active during colder months is by working out online. When you join a live exercise class on Zoom or Instagram, there’s accountability and encouragement. Find something that you can be a part of to increase your physical activity. Try Yoga with Adriene on her YouTube channel, download Jillian Michaels’ My Fitness app, or participate in a six-week training package by Onnit. There are so many options to help you burn those after-Christmas calories.

There are also local gyms and centers that offer digital classes for members. Join The River Valley Club (RVC) to gain access to a library of digital classes or the CCBA to participate in 35-plus in-person and Zoom fitness classes every week. If you don’t mind venturing out in the cold, you can join one of many other gyms in the area, like Wayne's World EFT or West Lebanon Fit Body Boot Camp.

As January and February come and go, don’t let them pass by while you’re sitting on the couch. Walk the stairs between floors in your house, turn on some dance music and have some fun, or head out to Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center. Work your mind, body, and soul this winter season!

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