Living in Michigan, I think we’ve all experienced those winters where we’ve felt too busy, too cold and too snowed-in to even think about being active. But we have some outstanding information from our Michigan State University (MSU) Extension health and nutrition educators and program instructors on staying active and nutrition during the winter that just might help us beat the winter blues and stay healthy.
- Christi Demitz reminds us in “How will you stay active this winter?” of all the benefits of physical activity, such as maintaining a healthy weight and heart health, reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer, and improving the strength of your bones, joints, muscles and mental health, as well as increasing your quality and longevity of life.
- “Fun winter activities are plentiful” such as cross-country skiing, snow tubing and sledding, ice skating, hiking and outdoor photography. In her article, Beverly Przystas describes these activities and their benefits.
- Diana Hassan shares “Winter safety tips while your kids are outside,” such as recommended clothing, temperature levels and dangerous activities to avoid.
- Are you tight on time and resources for staying active? Kristi Evans gives us some creative tips on how to “Stay active this winter by turning everyday tasks” into exercise, such as folding laundry, putting dishes away, putting groceries away, and taking a few extra walking laps in the grocery store.
- Michelle Jarvie writes about exercising outdoors, from walking to higher intensity exercising, and how to dress for those activities. Dressing properly is a key to being successful in your outdoor exercise goals. In her article, she also shares the added benefits of exercising in the cold, such as burning more calories and breathing fresh air.
- Andrea Aguilar shares strategies on how to keep your family active indoors and gives great insight into nutrition for the winter. In “Strategies to help your family eat healthy and stay active during the cold winter months,” she recommends consuming whole grains, seeds, beans and lentils, as well as taking advantage of buying local seasonal fruits and vegetables. Also, she shares the importance of vitamin D and how you can find it in milk, fish, cheese and egg yolks.
Wondering how much physical activity you and your family need? See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for the recommended physical activity needs for children, adults, women who are pregnant and older adults. Hopefully you’ve found these MSU Extension resources helpful in your efforts to stay active this winter. Stay warm!