by Lyndsay Flagel
Winter’s gray days can be uninspiring. It’s harder to motivate yourself to work out or take adventures outdoors. However, exercise and outdoor activities can continue through the frigid days of winter.
Michigan is a beautiful combination of cornfields, lakeshore, and woods. Gear up and head outside; grab cross-country skis or winter boots. Whether you’re taking a walk outside or heading to Saugatuck Dunes for a hike, those leaving an urban, fast-paced lifestyle have an intuitive understanding of the health benefits of nature.
In the midst of winter, Michigan residents are lucky to have plentiful outdoor activities that are good for the body and mind:
- Ice skating
- Winter bonfire to warm up and make s’mores
- Rent snowshoes and go hiking
- On your hike, bring food for the birds and go bird watching
- Go ice fishing (this is for the brave ones!)
- Sledding (the obvious activity that’s not just for kids!)
- Make snow paint. Add your favorite color to snow by mixing food coloring and water. Put it in a spray bottle and make snow art!
- Build a fort or have a snowball fight
Winter routines can easily default to work-home-work, but with effort, it can be work-adventure-home. For those with gym memberships, it’s still worth considering replacing a gym visit with a hike in the crisp winter air. Did you know that for the average American woman, cross-country hiking for 45 minutes burns 302 calories? In this scenario, you’re getting more of a benefit of exercise because of the connection with nature.
Then again, we are in Michigan. Come mid-winter, cars will have trouble starting and you wish you had a personal assistant to wipe off your car after work. Plain and simple: some days are too cold to stay outside longer than necessary; this is where the gym is a good idea or at home exercises.
Everyone has different work-out goals; whether it’s to lose weight, maintain health or to relieve stress, keep your workout regimen steady through the winter. However you choose to exercise, try incorporating the natural outdoors. Michigan outdoor adventures don’t have to end because summer is over. Head to the Upper Peninsula or Ludington and capture a scenic winter getaway!
At-Home Workout Suggestions
Search online for free plates videos such as Blogilates, a great YouTube sensation, to help you burn fat inside. Pilates helps sculpt your body over time, so consistency is key to achieving winter results.
If you’ve ever been hot yoga, you know you’ll stay warm and sweat. Studio Funky Buddha Hothouse produces free podcasts, bringing the hot-yoga flow to your home. Available on iTunes, download a few for the brisk winter days in which you’ve made your home the yoga studio. If you attend a different studio, inquire about their podcast offerings!
For those HIIT (High-intensity interval training) feigns, check out GymRa on YouTube. These instructors will make you work in 10 to 60 minutes, your choice, with or without weights. HIIT keeps muscles burning calories days after you’ve worked out.
Lyndsay is a Communications Specialist and a writer and editor for Holland Hospital. She spends her free time writing or watching Netflix.