Did you know that A1Cs tend to rise during the winter months? Sure there are many possible causes, including indulgence in holiday treats, stress, illness and maybe even the cold weather itself. But a decline in physical activity could play a part in this too! Especially in St. Louis where we see the extremes in both hot and cold temperatures, it can be easy to cozy up inside when the temperature begins to drop. Many of my patients tell me they only exercise when it’s nice outside.
My first advice would be to come up with a winter exercise plan and begin thinking about your strategy before the worst of winter hits (that would be now!). Will you join a gym? Sign up for an exercise class? Find a church that has an indoor walking track? There’s lots of options for indoor exercise. If you’re the outdoorsy type, this may not sound so thrilling (believe me, I know the feeling), but just like you adjust your wardrobe for winter, we must bring out our winter exercise plan too. Especially since it can mean maintaining glucose control, weight and health through the winter months.
There are many ways to stay active during the winter months. Check out the following resources to find something that sounds like it may be helpful to you.
- The Go4Life website is a new resource from the National Institute on Aging. Visit the website for more information, tips, stories of other successful exercisers, and records to track your progress. You can even order a free Exercise and Physical Activity Guide or video!
- This diabetes activity checklist from Journey for Control lists calories burned while performing everyday activities, leisure activities and exercises. Did you know you’ll burn about 150 calories by vacuuming for 30 minutes?
- If your’re unable to be on your feet for extended periods of time, it’s still important to keep your legs and feet active. These simple exercises from Cornerstones4Care are also great for a pre-exercise warm-up.
- The St. Louis County Parks are always a beautiful place to exercise no matter what the season. Click here to access the Fall and Winter Activity Guide for upcoming events and winter activity ideas. My choice? Ice skating!
- This article popped into my inbox this morning and I thought I would share it too. These tips from Jennipher Walters, a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, are year-long suggestions for preventing fitness setbacks.
So I think you’ll agree there are no excuses! Sometimes it might be hard to stay motivated, but there is always an opportunity for exercise available. Grab an exercise buddy to help you stay on track and make your winter exercise plan!