No matter the season, outdoor exercise is a great way to boost mental health and embrace a fit lifestyle. However, winter often poses extra challenges, including harsh outdoor conditions, heavier meals, and even cabin fever.
Cabin fever is the adverse reaction to being confined in a space for long periods of time, whether that involves staying inside every day during winter or studying for an entire weekend. Unfortunately, this situation can go hand-in-hand with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in which individuals experience depression at the same time each year. For people experiencing cabin fever or SAD during winter, getting outdoors is they key to metal and physical health.
Activities Without Equipment
Although winter may not feel like the best environment for exercise, it's surprisingly easy to find an appropriate activity for you. Whether you want to build muscle, do cardio, or simply become more flexible, there's an option for everyone. Strength training without equipment is a popular choice for plenty of people around the globe, and public parks often maintain free equipment. Likewise, power-walking and running are great ideas if you want to increase heart health and release endorphins, as explained by Fitday.
For Winter Fun...
Embrace the cold weather! Whether you're interested in skiing, snowboarding, or another popular winter sport, these activities are incredibly rewarding. Having fun with friends and playing in the snow will keep you motivated to get regular exercise and maintain your health.
If you don't live near a mountain, you can still have fun in the cold! Bicycling is a popular choice in the summer, but it's also enjoyable in the winter with the right gear. Although lightweight clothing for cold weather can be expensive, it might turn you into a winter exercise fanatic if you're a fan of the open road. Likewise, canicross and other forms of running with your dog can motivate you to exercise often, especially if you aren't a fan of the gym.
Make It A Habit
As stated in Business Insider, regular exercise is linked to better mental health. Simply going to the gym can help you alleviate the effects of cabin fever. With regular workouts and an excuse to get out of the house, you'll feel energized and healthy. When it comes to fitness, making it a habit will help you keep up with your goals and ultimately stick with your commitments.
If you want to make fitness into a habit, here are some quick tips.
- Find a fitness buddy. Simply keeping yourself accountable to another person can do wonders for your motivation. With some positivity and a can-do attitude, you'll love the gym more than ever before.
- Just put on your shoes. Even on days where you're committed to staying inside without exercising, consider getting ready for exercise anyway. Sometimes, all it takes is a little preparation to feel motivated.
- Treat yourself. Reward regular activity with a nice purchase. Whether you want a new pair of leggings or a trendy fitness band,
- you can definitely find a prize to keep you going on the harder days.
Overall, these tips will help you avoid the effects of cabin fever in winter. Get active, stay fit, and enjoy the cold.
Christopher is a local author and musician encouraging everyone to get out and get fit while working with the Charles Schusterman Community and Fitness Center in Tulsa.