Memorial Regional Health: Don’t let cold weather make you sedentary — Regular physical activity should remain constant throughout year |

Memorial Regional Health: Don’t let cold weather make you sedentary — Regular physical activity should remain constant throughout year

Lauren Glendenning/Brought to you by Memorial Regional Health
It’s important to remain physically active throughout the winter months to reduce health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Too cold? Try these indoor activities: • Home workout circuit • Dancing • Active housework, such as vacuuming and sweeping • Indoor walking • Bowling • Roller skating • Yoga, or other fun group classes at a gym, studio, or community center • Stair climbing Source: American Heart Association Physical activity for adults and children • Adults should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. • Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least two days per week. • Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary. • Children age 3 to 5 should be physically active and have plenty of opportunities to move throughout the day. • Children age 6 to 17 should get at least 60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, mostly aerobic. • Include vigorous-intensity activity at least three days per week, and muscle- and bone-strengthening (weight-bearing) activities at least three days per week. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Editor’s note: The following article is sponsored content from Memorial Regional Health

Winter in Colorado might bring snow and colder temperatures, but thanks to abundant sunshine, there’s rarely an excuse to turn into a couch potato.

But winter — and especially the holiday season — is a time when excess calorie consumption can become a fairly common occurrence. Who doesn’t love to warm up with comfort food on a cold day? Combine excessive calorie intake with physical inactivity, though, and you’ve found the recipe for weight gain.

Indulging also can lead to other bad habits, such as falling off your exercise routine when what you should be doing is exactly the opposite — increasing your workouts, both in frequency and duration, according to The Cleveland Clinic. The health risks of a sedentary lifestyle aren’t just a weight-related concern, either. Physical inactivity is a leading cause of disease and disability, according to the World Health Organization.

“Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety,” the WHO reports.

Don’t let cold weather deter you from staying active. Following are some things to keep in mind as you think about wintertime physical activity.

Winter walks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends walking as a great way to get in physical activity.

“Walking does not require any special skills. It also does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment,” according to the CDC.

Cold weather walks can be invigorating, too, as long as you’re wearing the proper clothing. Check the weather conditions, especially the wind chill forecast, to determine whether outdoor exercise is safe and, if it is, what you should wear.


Exposed skin can be vulnerable to frostbite, depending on weather conditions. The Mayo Clinic reports the risk of frostbite is less than 5 percent when the air temperature is above 5 degrees, but wind chills can change those risks.

“At wind chill levels below minus 18 degrees F, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in 30 minutes or less. If the temperature dips below 0 degrees F or the wind chill is extreme, consider taking a break or choosing an indoor exercise, instead,” according to The Mayo Clinic.


Hypothermia — when body temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius, or about 95 degrees Fahrenheit — occurs when your body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough, according to the American Heart Association. Symptoms include lack of coordination, confusion, slurred speech, cold feet and hands, shivering, sleepiness and slowed reactions. It can be deadly.

Exercising in cold weather, especially cold, wet weather, can increase the risk of hypothermia. The Mayo Clinic recommends dressing in layers to help stay dry during physical activity. Synthetic materials are best for staying dry, while cotton is one of the worst materials, because it stays wet next to your skin. If it’s snowing or raining, only exercise outdoors if you have waterproof gear.

Strength exercises

Memorial Regional Health recommends staying strong to maintain a healthy weight. Strength-training is also important for endurance and injury prevention in winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing.

Some tips for gaining strength include daily stretching, even for just 5 to 10 minutes, to maintain flexibility; weight-bearing resistance training three to four times per week; using hand weights or resistance exercises at home; or joining an exercise class.

Cardiovascular exercise needs vary, depending on various health factors and age, but the American Heart Association says adults generally need 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User