Writer / Dr. Emily Cha, Orthopedic Surgeon at IU Health West Hospital
Photography Provided

Struggling to stay active this winter? Doctors recommend that adults get 150 minutes of activity per week – a goal that can be hard to meet when the weather gets dreary. Staying active is important for your overall health, and can lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation, boost levels of good cholesterol and much more. These four tips will help you prepare for the cold days ahead.

Make a plan.

Establish a schedule to set yourself up for success. Many prefer to work out right before or after work or school, but decide what feels right for you. Start by thinking about activities you like to do, and see which can be modified to be done indoors or in cold weather. Then, create a routine that outlines what you’ll do on each day and for how long. Making a plan before working out often helps to keep you on track and focused on the activity you’re completing.

Make the small things count.

Whether its opting for the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther than normal from a store’s entrance, it’s important to make the small things count during the winter months. If your day ends after the sun sets, taking a short walk outside during your lunch break may be the best opportunity to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Make sure to bundle up and dress in layers to stay dry and warm.

Check out online resources.

Today we have a world of resources at our fingertips. See what exercise videos can be found online, and get moving. You can even search for specific workouts like pilates, cycling and yoga. Many studios offer virtual training sessions that can be done from the comfort of your home with little to no equipment. Find what works best for you and you’ll be working out at home in no time.

Join a local gym or recreation center.

Joining a gym or recreation center gives you access to hundreds of training options. From free weights to treadmills and sometimes a pool, these centers give you the freedom of variety to work on all parts of your physical health. Many gyms offer a robust schedule of fitness classes for their patrons to sample. A quick search online will reveal what options are available in your area.

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