Do you struggle to incorporate joyful movement in the winter months? This can be a common challenge. With days feeling shorter and weather often not permitting to do as many outdoor activities, you might feel limited in what you have access to.
First off, it’s important to acknowledge that having a natural ebb and flow in our movement routine can be very normal. Some individuals find that including movement happens more organically during warmer months of the year. So please check in with your intention behind looking at your movement routine; if any of it is coming from a place of what you “should do” vs. what you “could do”, it may be worth unpacking that a bit more before proceeding. But if you do feel interested and safe in incorporating more movement here are some ideas:
1. Find Something Indoors to Do:
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a gym. You may find a favorite class at a gym and if that’s the case, then great. But you can also broaden your scope to try to find more activities as well as something that might feel more affordable than a gym membership. Do you have a recreation center in your town? Oftentimes they offer free services such as a walking track and other paid services that can be relatively inexpensive such as pickle ball classes or tai chi. Taking up a new class or activity can be a really fun way to approach movement! Additionally, you can find other indoor spots to walk such as your local mall (and it’s free! As long as you don’t get sucked into any shopping!).
2. Get Outside (warm and safely):
It’s still possible to incorporate physical activity outside, but you’ll want to be mindful that you’re dressed accordingly. Think layers and accessories such as warm socks, hat or earmuffs and gloves or mittens.
Some winter activities could include: a winter walk or hike, snowshoeing or skiing/snowboarding.
3. Broaden Your Scope of What “Counts” as Movement:
It’s important to be cognizant of what you consider movement. If you have certain metrics such as “movement must occur in a gym” or “I must be sweaty after doing movement for it to matter”, you may be missing out on giving yourself credit for movement that doesn’t necessarily hit those benchmarks. Doing things such as housework or chores count as movement, dancing in the kitchen with your kids while you prep dinner is movement, parking your car further away from the store and carrying your bags is movement and taking the stairs at work is movement. If your body’s in motion, that’s movement! If you can practice more awareness to this, you might find that you’re incorporating more physical activity than you’re “counting”.
Hope these ideas help if you are interested in including more movement during these colder months! And as mentioned, if being flexible about physical activity is actually the best thing for your routine, then hopefully this serves a gentle nudge in that direction.