NDSU Extension - Mercer County

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Stay Active This Winter

Winter activities, Physical activity, nourish your body

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Community Wellness

When cold winter temperatures keep us indoors, what can we do to stay fit?

During a recent conversation in our office, we discussed how often a person should get up and move away from their desk? We learned we should get up at least every half hour. From there our conversation went to how the new smart watches let you know when you fall short of activity or total number of steps.

All adults should aim for at least 2½ hours or 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Every little bit of fitness adds to the goal.

  1. Start a physical activity tradition. Instead of “cozying up” by the TV, bundle up and take a walk after dinner.
  2. Think differently about seasonal chores. Make tasks such as shoveling and house cleaning to prepare for guests fun. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can get done as a team.
  3. Be a kid again. Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Check out second-hand stores for discounted prices on skates, skis, snowshoes and other outdoor equipment. There are several rental options available locally for outdoor activities.
  4. Head to your local sledding hill (provided there’s snow) for a fun, aerobic workout. Sledding requires you to use multiple muscle groups to steer as you speed down hills. You also exert effort while walking with your sled back up the hill so you can go down again.
  5. Ice skating in Hazen is another winter exercise that's great for family fitness. As with skiing, how fast and how long you skate will determine how many calories you ultimately burn.
  6. Do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time. Take a 10-minute walk at lunchtime or after school.
  7. Turn off the TV. Set a rule that no one can spend longer than two hours per day playing video games, watching TV and using the computer (except for school work).
  8. Play indoor physical activity games. Go on scavenger hunts or play charades. For example, be an Olympic skater or a star basketball player.
  9. Find an indoor place to walk. The Energy Wellness Center in Beulah has a track that is open to the public at a minimal cost for walking. Walk around local stores. While you’re there you’ll see all the amazing items offered locally.
  10. Turn your kitchen into a gym. Use your countertop for balance and stretching exercises.
  • Try doing “toe stands.” Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Stand on your tiptoes.
  • March or jog in place.
  • Use cans of vegetables as weights; do sets of 10 arm raises or as many as you can.
  • Take a break to dance with your cooking partner.
  1. Set a physical activity goal. Write it down and chart your progress on a calendar.
  2. Write down your steps every day. Build to 10,000 steps a day.

Visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/nourishyourbody for more information about keeping your muscles, brain and other body systems healthy all year long.

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University Extension food and nutrition specialist

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