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Appetite for Knowledge

Stay Active in the Winter!

Winter has set in and our days are shorter but that is no reason to hunker down and hibernate! There are plenty of ways to be active in the winter, even when the weather turns cold.  Get in shape and have fun while you’re at it.  Try these fun activities to keep you and your family in motion through the winter months.  Depending on your location and likes, you can choose to workout inside or outside.

Three people snowshoeing in the woods.

Outdoor Activities:

  • Walking – it’s easy and requires little more than a good pair of shoes. You can burn calories, increase blood flow, and give your heart and lungs a boost just by putting one foot in front of the other. Walking is also a great stress reducer.
  • Hiking – offers many of the same benefits as walking, and gives you the chance to explore new areas.
  • Ice Skating – nothing says the holidays like lacing up the skates and taking a spin on the ice.
  • Skiing – many communities have downhill ski resorts or cross-country trails to explore.
  • Build a snowman – this is an age-old tradition that starts with one small snowball and grows into a great afternoon of activity. You can even make snow bricks, build an igloo, and create your own winter wonderland.
  • Snowshoeing – this is a lesser-known pastime that gets people outdoors in the colder months. Snowshoeing gives you a whole new perspective on the outdoors, and allows you the chance to make tracks on uncharted winter territory, and share some time with the winter wildlife.

Indoor Activities:

  • Mall walking – if you love to walk but it’s too miserable outside then consider walking in your local mall. You can window shop while you’re at it, and meet other people with the same idea.
  • Exercise videos – you can stay in the comfort of your own home and work out to your favorite videos.
  • Treadmill or stationary bike – this is an investment, but one that pays off if you use it regularly. The convenience of having it nearby increases the chance of getting on it.
  • Fitness centers – many of these have special New Year discounts and no contracts to get tangled up in. And they all offer classes designed to meet whatever it is you’re looking for.
  • Stairs – if you have these in your home, it makes for a very convenient and efficient workout. Spend as little as 20 minutes at a time climbing up and down at your own pace.

Tips for Staying Safe

All that is required for winter activities is some planning and safety precautions if you prefer to be outside. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Insulate your body. The best approach to dressing for outdoor exercise is with layers. Layering provides the most effective heating method, plus it allows you to remove the top layer if you get too hot. The top layer should be both wind and water resistant.
  • Drink up. It’s just as important to stay hydrated when exercising in winter as it is in summer, even though you might not feel as thirsty.
  • Lighten up. If possible, it’s best to exercise outdoors during daylight hours. But it may be harder to do now that the days are shorter. If you exercise outdoors when it is dark, wear reflective materials to ensure that you can be seen.
  • Be prepared. Check the weather forecast before going out for a day’s activity.
  • Use your head. Use well-maintained, well-fitting equipment, including the appropriate safety helmet for your activity.
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Three people snowshoeing

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Extension Educators:
Shelley Balls – (307) 885-3132
Denise Smith – (307) 334-3534
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

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Extension Educators:
Shelley Balls – (307) 885-3132
Denise Smith – (307) 334-3534
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources | Extension

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Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

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