Thank you Blue Shield of California for sponsoring this post. They are committed to health and wellness, and they believe in tackling health issues before they start.
The longer days and warmer weather of the spring and summer makes it incredibly easy for me to find excuses to exercise outdoors, even if it’s just a quick walk to the grocery store or a bike ride to the library. The best part is, when I’m staying active, I feel 10x better – mentally, physically, and even spiritually.
Once fall rolls around though, I’ve been guilty of trading in my exercise routines for hot bubble baths and cozy evenings on the couch watching K-dramas. If I do this too many weeks in a row, that’s when things will start to go south. By January, I’ll often feel depressed and unmotivated, and the worse part is, it’ll affect my creativity, work life, and even my personal relationships.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Scheduling a few chilly weather-friendly activities into the week and making an effort to follow through can help keep your stamina and mood up. And come winter, if you aren’t the type to brave the cold weather (I’m certainly not!), there are lots of activities to do indoors.
The trick to keeping up an exercise routine in the winter especially is to 1) make a list of activities ahead of time that you can fall back on when it’s chilly out, and 2) have all your equipment ready to go. For example, have a workout app pre-installed and a first course picked out, purchase weights, clean your workout mat, renew your gym membership, etc. Otherwise, if you’re used to mindlessly heading outside for a quick bike ride or run, but suddenly change your mind due to the low temps, you’ll have something else to jump right into, instead of a second excuse not to exercise.
Now, without further ado, here are 5 ways to stay active and happy throughout the fall and winter…
5 Ways to Stay Active in the Fall & Winter
In the fall…
Fall is a great time to keep up an outdoors exercise routine. The leaves are changing, which makes for a beautiful landscape, but at the same time, the weather isn’t too cold to keep us from enjoying the outdoors. In fact, for many of us, fall is the most comfortable time to exercise outside since it’s typically overcast and the lower temps keep us feeling nice and cool.
One of the most enjoyable fall activities, in my opinion, are long, scenic bike rides. Whether you’re road biking, rail-trail riding, or mountain biking, your body will benefit from the cardio workout as you work to tone your abs, stomach, buttocks, and legs. You’ll also get to soak in all that gorgeous fall scenery and enjoy some quiet moments to yourself. All it takes to get started is a bike! (And maybe a rack for your car to hit those not-so-nearby trails).
Another way to enjoy the fall landscapes is to put on your sneakers and go for a quick run, jog, or walk. Choose whatever pace feels best for you, but also one that’s slightly challenging and keeps your heart rate up. You can also try any combination of the three if, say, you want to fit in some cardio, but aren’t quite ready to go for a full jog/run (that’s me most days! I like to alternate between walking and running every minute to give myself breaks).
For a more leisurely exercise, head to your local orchard and take a stroll around the field, picking your own apples, pumpkins, or other fall goodies! This is one of my absolute favorite fall activities, and honestly, it can be great exercise too – between long walks in the field, to carrying those heavy pumpkins and crates of apples back to the checkout counter!
Remember, being active doesn’t have to equate to a schedule filled with super intense, sweat-inducing workouts. To me, it’s more important to keep moving, as often as you’re able. So skip the pumpkin bin at the grocery store and find excuses to go on more outdoor adventures!
In the winter…
Once winter arrives and the weather grows chillier – or near freezing, depending on where you live – that’s when many us of will find it easier to move our exercise routines indoors. This can make things a bit more, well, dull, especially if you’re used to being outside and frequently roaming around trails or parks. Fortunately, there are some alternatives that can be keep things just as fun and interesting (plus, you can carry them over into the rainy days come spring to keep the momentum going all year round).
For those of us that prefer to get out of the house, head to the gym or a studio to take a class – dance, spin, pilates, kick-boxing, or anything else that gets you excited! The set schedules, investment, and group scene will give you that extra push to commit. Plus, you’ll be around other smiling faces, and if your instructor is motivational and peppy (which they should be!), it’ll rub off on you too – believe me! If you’re new to taking classes, ask around to see if you can try a few trial or discounted sessions – a lot of studios offer this option for first timers. Experiment with different exercise styles and levels, like a beginner spin class if you’ve been slacking on the cardio, or a more advanced yoga class if you’ve already mastered the basics.
If you’d prefer to exercise at home due to a busy schedule, there are a ton of online workout programs that you can do indoors. Between YouTube and the app stores, you’re bound to find something that you enjoy with just a little bit of searching. Plus, there are a huge range of options to keep things interesting (because, to me, variety is key!). I recommend having a few exercises in your line-up – maybe a yoga routine app for chill days, a kick-boxing online class to really get the blood flowing, and some K-Pop dancing tutorials just for fun! 😛
When it comes to feeling your best all year long, staying active – on top of eating well and taking time to de-stress – can make a huge difference. In fact, keeping up a wellness ritual is so crucial when it comes to staying healthy, that the folks over at Blue Shield of California have designed a suite of programs focused on improving well-being through a 100% lifestyle-based approach. They’re committed to promoting both physical and mental wellness, which is why they created Wellvolution. Wellvolution promotes things like healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, and social support to help us feel our healthiest while tackling health issues before they even start.
If you are already a Blue Shield of California member, be sure to sign-up for Blue Shield of California’s free Wellvolution well-being program here today!
What are your favorite ways to stay active and keep up with a wellness routine in the fall and winter?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.