2013-02-28 / Lifestyles

Tips for winter workouts

Society offers ways to stay active in cold

LANSING – As tempting as it may be this time of year, humans aren’t meant to hibernate. Too much sitting around indoors all winter will likely lead to weight gain, weight that will become more noticeable when you shed your warm coat, sweaters, and scarves this spring. More importantly, that winter weight gain could increase your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Even though the days are shorter and colder, there are still fun ways to fit in the 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week recommended by the American Cancer Society to lower your risk of certain types of cancer.

Find an indoor walking area. If you live or work near a mall, atrium, or other public venue, these are convenient places to stride while staying warm.

Join a gym. If you’re reluctant to commit to long-term contracts and fees, some gyms offer short-term or month-to-month memberships. This way, you can limit your gym membership to the winter months. Look for gyms that include fitness classes like yoga, cycling, kickboxing, or dance, which can add variety to your workout.

Work out at home. There are plenty of aerobic, dance, and yoga DVDs you can follow in the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule. Gaming consoles also offer a wide range of interactive fitness games, including tennis, boxing, soccer, dance, and obstacle courses. On your quest to conquer your opponent, you may forget you’re exercising.

Play indoor sports. Many of the outdoor sports you enjoy in the warmer months such as tennis, soccer, and basketball are great indoor sports, too. Workout facilities and some recreation centers may have indoor swimming pools available as well.

Get in a league. Joining a tennis, basketball, or volleyball league will help keep you committed to an activity. You’ll have regularly scheduled practices and games, and your teammates will encourage your regular participation.

To learn more ways to add activity this winter and take steps to stay well, contact your American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

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