3 Ways to Stay Active This Winter 

Don't let winter weather stop you from getting exercise

A Veteran and their partner holding hands, walking along a wooded trailExercise is important to keep you healthy. It supports your heart, helps you sleep at night, and can even improve your mood. As the days get shorter and colder, it can be tempting to avoid physical activity. We have 3 ways to help you keep moving this winter:

  1. Start and end your day with movement. If shorter days have you missing your regular routine, remember that some exercise is better than no exercise. A simple routine could include 2 exercises and one stretch. For example, try: Side Steps, Abdominal Lift with Marching, and Neck and Arm Stretch.

  2. Take advantage of any warmer days by going for a walk outside. Walk around your neighborhood or local park. Even if the sky is gray, don't forget your sunscreen. UV light can pass through clouds even when visible light doesn't.

  3. On cold days, try aquatic exercise at an indoor pool. Deep water walking, swimming, or water aerobics are good for your heart and gentle on your joints.

Make your movement safe

When you begin any exercise, it’s important to move safely. Little things can add up to safe exercise:

  • Always listen to your body and make sure you don’t overdo it.

  • Wear shoes that fit well and offer good arch support. This helps prevent stress on your feet and knees.

  • Take time to warm up and cool down. An intense workout can lead to injury if your body isn’t ready.

  • Stay hydrated. Thirst isn't as obvious in the winter. Drink plenty of liquids before, during, and after your workout.

Track your fitness journey

Keep track of your routines using My HealtheVet’s Activity Journal. Always update your doctor about your routine so they can best guide you. If you have questions or experience any pain while exercising, send your doctor a Secure Message.

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Read More

Get Regular Exercise for Mental Health (Veterans Health Library)

Move! Coach VA Mobile App (VA Mobile)

Aerobic Activity for a Healthy Heart (Veterans Health Library)

Five Tips to Get Fit this Spring 

Created on July 5, 2022