Our health depends not just on what happens at the doctor’s office, but also on what we do in our daily lives. That’s true even during our cold, dark winter months.
It’s important to be active each day, even if it’s just moderate activity. Adults should aim for at least 30 minutes per day, while children should get at least an hour of physical activity daily.
But don’t worry — there are lots of ways to be physically active this time of year. Consider some of the following ways.
If you are outside when it’s dark, or during low-visibility conditions, make sure that you can be seen by wearing bright colors or reflective clothing. Carrying a flashlight is a good idea too.
If getting outside when it’s raining doesn’t appeal to you, indoor spaces, such as shopping malls, provide warm, dry places to walk when it’s wet, cold and dark outside.
Most gyms also have stationary bikes and treadmills, so you can keep up with your walking, running or cycling, even if you refuse to do them in the cold and rain. Some gyms have indoor pools that are heated to temperatures comfortable for aqua aerobics, swimming lessons or doing laps on your own.
Washington State Parks also operates roughly 40 nonmotorized Sno-Parks for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and just playing in the snow. Mount Rainier National Park is also a great place for winter activities such as sledding, skiing, and ranger-guided snowshoe hikes. Check the appropriate websites to find out more about conditions, equipment rental, and costs.
Thurston Thrives promotes active living and making social connections as ways to strengthen our community, and, as you can see, there are lots of ways to be active this winter. Doing so with family, friends and even strangers will not only help keep you moving, but will also help build the kind of supportive connections that’s healthy for you and our community.