Moving Mindfully This Winter: A Guide for All Ages

No matter the season, practice healthy habits where you live, work and play.

It’s important to keep the whole family moving this winter—especially when everyone is home for holidays and even during inclement weather. Though it’s tempting to spend wintry days snuggled up on the couch, there are many enjoyable ways to spend quality time with friends and family while making healthier, more mindful choices in eating and physical activity.

It isn’t rocket science. Just make simple decisions to take a walk after dinner with the family (and dog!), dance during television commercials, play in the snow or prepare veggies and fruits for grab-and-go snacking.

Wellness at Work

At school or work, it’s important to stay mentally alert, especially during long periods of sitting. Incorporate “deskercises” during these moments, as physical activity breaks are shown to improve attention, concentration and academic behavior.

While sitting, try a lower body leg raise following these simple steps:

  1. Sit straight up
  2. Lift each leg up
  3. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat with the other leg

For the upper body, try ab squeezes, shoulder shrugs and arm circles.

Outdoor Fun, All Year-Round

Contrary to popular belief, winter is an optimal time to workout harder and longer. Because you don’t have to worry about heat or humidity, ultimately you may exercise more and burn more calories.

It’s important to have the right balance of calories-in and calories-out to lose or maintain a healthy weight. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents get 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily; for adults, aim for 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity activity.

People of any fitness level can make winter workouts more fun. Be mindful about how you prepare and dress before heading out. Be sure to bundle up in fabric that absorbs sweat. Add a layer to insulate, like fleece, and when needed, an extra waterproof layer. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!

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