You’ve probably heard that staying active is key when you’re quitting smoking. Regular exercise can help ease stress, boost morale, distract you when you have the urge to light up and help you maintain a healthy weight throughout your quit. But unless you live in a mild climate or venture south for the season, this time of year brings plunging temperatures, mounting snow and early sunsets that make it especially tough to work out. What’s a quitter to do?
Answer: Try one of these fun-filled winter activities, which may help keep you fit and smokefree, plus bring the welcome warmth that comes with an increased heart rate. And cozying up with hot chocolate after you’ve earned it with a little exercise is that much more rewarding!
Enjoy your favorite winter sport
Make this Saturday a fun-filled day outside with the family: skiing, skating, snowboarding, sledding or snowshoeing... you get the "drift." If you don't own the right equipment, you can always borrow from a friend or rent. Don't forget to talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine.
Go for a walk (or run!)
Even if winter sports aren't your thing, you can still bundle up and admire the winter scenery. All you need are lots of layers and a brisk pace–you'll warm up in no time.
Try an exercise video
Whether you choose yoga or boot camp, nothing beats working up a sweat without leaving the comfort of your living room. Not ready to commit to purchasing a DVD? A quick internet search will give you many options for workout videos or check with your local public library for DVD rentals.
Make your house sparkle
You might vacuum under the couch, scrub the dishes, or organize your closet. Cleaning doesn't just burn calories, it rewards you with a bright and tidy home to relax in when you're finished.
Find your inner child: play in the snow
Winter playtime requires a fair amount of strength and endurance. Snowball fights could be considered a team sport, and you'll realize snow is actually quite heavy when you're building that massive snowman. And snow angels? They're basically a combination of jumping jacks and sit-ups!
Gather the family together for an expressive and active game of charades. We dare you to pretend to win a marathon or walk on the moon.
Tackle a home improvement project
Bad weather outside could be a great excuse to stay indoors to hang those new holiday photos, rearrange the furniture, or declutter your home of unnecessary ash trays and other smoking accessories. You'll cross something off your to-do-list, and when you're focused on the task at hand, you won't even realize your climbing heart rate– or think about smoking!
Work in your yard
There's a good chance you have to do this anyway, so it's a win-win. A 154 pound person doing yardwork for one hour could burn up to 440 calories. Good-looking yard here we come!