Tips for Beating the Freeze and Staying Fit

So you’ve done it: you consulted with your doctor, you created a wellness plan that included regular exercise, and you’ve managed to stick with it so far. Fantastic! But now it’s winter, and not only are you struggling for new ideas to keep active, but the weather isn’t helping your motivation. No worries—ImagineCare is here to help!

The winter months can make finding the time and energy to exercise feel like an overwhelming task. Between the shorter days and frigid temperatures, sometimes it just seems easier to set your exercise and wellness goals on the backburner...but don’t! While it’s okay to take the occasional day off, sticking to your normal exercise routine will help you maintain your gains and keep you from feeling sluggish over the holidays.

Not sure what activities you can do in this winter weather? Here are some ideas from the ImagineCare team:

Cross-Country Skiing
Calories Burned Per Hour: 576

This is a great workout for both your upper and lower body. If distance skiing isn’t your thing, try downhill skiing for an equally effective workout.
 

Snowboarding
Calories Burned Per Hour: 429

Tired of skiing and looking for a new challenge? Try snowboarding to strengthen your legs and core.
 

Snowshoeing
Calories Burned Per Hour: 576

Similar to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing is another alternative to running during the winter months. Take a friend and enjoy the scenery during your adventure.
 

Sledding
Calories Burned per Hour: 468

Unleash your inner child and spend an afternoon sledding. All that walking uphill and steering burns calories and helps strengthen your core.
 

Ice-skating
Calories Burned Per Hour: 504

The great thing about ice skating is you that you can participate outdoors AND indoors! It’s also a great activity for families and children.
 

Have a Snowball Fight
Calories Burned Per Hour: 520

Another great activity to do with children, a good old fashioned snowball fight will get your heart rate up. Any activities that involve playing in the snow accomplish the same goal.
 

Ice Hockey
Calories Burned Per Hour: 549

Take ice-skating to the next level by playing ice hockey. This fast-paced activity can also be played outdoors or indoors and is sure to get your blood pumping.
 

Meditate
Calories Burned Per Hour: 71

Although meditation doesn’t burn a lot of calories, using it to block out distractions, manage stress, and focus on relaxation has long-term health benefits such as lowering heart rate and boosting immunity.
 

Yoga
Calories Burned Per Hour: 300

Yoga is also a lower-calorie burning activity, but in addition to its stress-reduction benefits, yoga can also build muscle strength, improve flexibility, and increase blood flow.
 

How to Get Started with an Exercise Routine—TODAY!


No matter your age, fitness level, or what your motivations are, it can be difficult to get started with an exercise routine. It may be partly because we're constantly bombarded with health and fitness information, a lot of which can be incorrect or misleading. This leads us to taking no action at all, when in fact just a little bit of activity can have a profoundly positive impact on our short-term and long-term health.

As an ImagineCare Health Navigator and a Certified Personal Trainer, I want to make it easy for you to get started with an exercise routine today, and by using the Microsoft Band 2 and ImagineCare app you can enjoy tracking your workouts and monitoring your improvement.

Even short, 10-minutes bouts of moderate-intensity exercise can help lower blood pressure, burn calories, improve sleep, and improve mental health.

To see a marked improvement in your health from exercising will not require as much time as you think.

So let’s get started!

If you have the Microsoft Band 2 on your wrist, slide over to the “running” tile, press the action button, and go for a 10-minute walk at a moderate-to-vigorous pace twice a day. Just by doing that much, you will receive the cardiovascular benefits of exercise.

If you have more time, try walking 20-60 minutes at a time, twice a day, or turn it into a light run 2-5 times a week.

You will notice that, in just a few workouts, what used to feel very difficult is now getting easier, and soon you’ll want to increase the intensity of your workout by walking or running faster, or trying out some of the hills in your neighborhood. This is called “Progression,” and this is good!

Honestly, you don’t need to invest a great deal of time in your exercise program, as long as you get your heart rate up with some moderate-to-vigorous cardiovascular activity.

What do I mean by moderate-to-vigorous activity? At a moderate intensity, it should feel like you are working harder than a normal, leisurely walk, but it's still relatively easy to have a conversation. Vigorous intensity should make it fairly difficult to have a conversation.

I tend to recommend that beginners start at a moderate intensity and work their way toward vigorous intensity over a period of a month.

Maintaining the routine is key. After a little while, I think you’ll notice how much better you feel and how much you enjoy doing it!

If you already take part in a regular exercise program, that’s awesome! Stay tuned for future blog posts to help elevate your game.

And if you have any health conditions that would prevent you from safely practicing this exercise routine, I definitely recommend consulting with your physician before you start.

Still have questions about how to get started? You can always contact ImagineCare’s support at support@imaginecare.com. 

~Marco

Marco Day, an ImagineCare Health Navigator, is a Certified Personal Trainer and Movement Training Specialist. Prior to joining ImagineCare, he worked with clients at River Valley Club in Lebanon, NH, on exercise program design and prescription, weight-loss corrective exercise prescription, and personal training. He loves any opportunity to help people make positive health changes.