How to stay healthy and fit throughout the winter season and pandemic

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Photo Courtesy of Ageless and Healthy

Nina Behrens, Staff Writer

With the pandemic still going on and the winter season fast approaching, it can be very difficult for people, myself included, to find the motivation and time to stay fit and healthy. Even so, I find that exercise helps benefit my mental health and many researchers have found a link between regular exercise and mental health benefits.

Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms,” said the Mayo Clinic Staff from the Mayo Clinic. “But smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference.” 

Along with positive mental health benefits, there are many other benefits from exercise. These things consist of taking your mind off other worries, gaining confidence, a healthy coping mechanism, releasing good endorphins, possibly increased social activity and more. 

As stated before, doing as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can be very beneficial. While most gyms and indoor workout areas are closed for the time being, it should not be an excuse to stop exercising. Exercise comes in many forms, such as going on a walk, bike ride or swim, passing a ball around, practicing a sport with a friend or family member, etc. Getting friends or family involved may help motivate you to be active for a little bit each day and make it a more enjoyable experience. Despite the weather getting colder as winter closes in, there are still many indoor activities that one can partake in additionally. These include playing Just Dance on your Wii, dancing in general or even following a workout video on YouTube. 

There are many workout videos on YouTube that involve learning a dance or going along to a song which makes it even more fun. Downloading an app that sets a workout schedule or tells you what to do and when could also be very helpful if you struggle to hold yourself accountable for staying active. Beachbody On Demand or The Betty Rocker are both good examples of these types of apps. 

Getting into a routine of daily exercise may be tough at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become and the more of a routine it will be. Setting small goals is a great first step in getting yourself active. Plus, when those goals are completed it may give you a feeling of accomplishment and pride. Again, exercise comes in many different forms, many of which are very enjoyable if you make them. Doing as little as 30 minutes a day will be very beneficial!