It gets harder to stay naturally active as it gets colder. As the temperature starts dropping, your habits may start changing. Activities you take part in may end, friends may want to do different things and the lure of a cosy blanket can be hard to resist. In the depths of winter when you’re longing for the warmth of spring, going outside may seem unappealing. However, staying active is still essential for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Keeping up with your regular gym routine is of course exactly what you should be doing. However, as the cold sets in we usually end up spending more time staying sedentary and often indoors. This difference in activity level can change the way we feel for the worse and weaken our immune systems.
Today, we’re sharing some indoor and outdoor active hobbies you can incorporate into your daily life. Variety is great for your brain, so mix and match active hobbies while keeping up with your regular gym schedule. It’s also a great idea to start now so you get used to the routine and can find some active hobbies you really like before winter arrives.
Walking & hiking
Okay, we know you were expecting something a bit more revolutionary than this, but we think it’s still the best active hobby. Frosty mornings are calm, quiet and importantly have some sunlight. While the winter sun is too weak to give us all the vitamin D we need, the mental wellbeing and “wake-up” effects of getting some sun on your skin and into your eyeballs are incredibly valuable.
You may even be able to walk longer during autumn and winter than in summer. With no heat or humidity to deal with you could be more comfortable. Plus, you need to worry less about overheating.
Bundling up and getting moving will also help keep you warm, long after you’ve finished your walk. We recommend picking up some thermal layers to go under your clothes when it gets really cold. For extra, emotional warmth take a friend along and enjoy a chat.
Now there are going to be times you can’t go out, too much ice, storms, too dark or you just really hate the cold and this is where the gym is great. But what do you do when you’ve already done your workout for the day? Perhaps you want an active rest day, or just want to shake things up. We’ve got some indoor options for you too.
Going to a yoga class at the gym is a fantastic way to learn how to correctly perform the moves. Once you’re comfortable and have an idea of what routine you’d like to do it’s a great at-home option to keep active as it gets colder.
You can also follow along with a number of online videos to keep you motivated.
DIY & decorating
This one may be a bit of a surprise. Physical labour may not be your first idea for a new hobby but it will certainly keep you active.
With the colder weather settling in you will want to spend more time indoors. So why not spruce up your space with a bit of DIY? Some painting, a little bit of woodworking, and fixing the door you’ve been meaning to for half a year all keep you going. It’s good to remember that house chores and DIY all count as movement. Especially when you want a lower-impact option, and just want to stay on your feet rather than get in a full workout.
Learn to dance for free using online videos. Whether there’s a particular style of dance you want to try or a particular choreography you’d love to recreate, dancing is great exercise.
Very little space is needed to start practising and you can find guides for just about any kind of dance you’d like to do. Pick dances to your favourite songs to start and discover how coordinated you can be after a little practice. Having fun, learning a new skill and an active hobby. This is a win-win-win.
If you don’t already have a relevant system this one may be too much of an investment. But for those of you who do like games, don’t forget the wide variety of active titles that exist.
The best fitness games are the ones that you find super fun, but make you sweat at the same time. You can enjoy mobile options like Active Arcade if you don’t have a separate gaming platform. Taking things up a level, explore titles like Ring Fit Adventure or Just Dance which has a whole ‘sweat’ function, and can be enjoyed with friends.
There are plenty of VR games as well for a truly immersive experience. Beat Saber, while not marketed as a fitness game certainly can get your heart pumping. There are several shadowboxing games to pick from depending on the style you like and the platform you own, including free options.
Finally, if you still have Wii Fit and a balance board lying around, why not turn it on and enjoy some light exercise to the nostalgic sounds of the Wii Fit soundtrack.