Be a Health Champion: Inspire Others to Stay Active this Winter

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Written by the Weight-control Information Network

The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes each week of moderate aerobic activity for adults—and at least an hour each day of active time for kids. This may be hard during winter, when cold temperatures and decreased daylight may reduce your desire to be active. Trying indoor physical activities like swimming or walking on a treadmill may help you to stay active, and add variety and interest to your routine.

Check out these resources to move more this winter and help others do so too:

For Adults 

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a tip sheet with ideas for indoor physical activity ideal for winter. The tip sheet is a product of the VA’s MOVE! ® Program to help veterans maintain a healthy weight. A Spanish version of the tip sheet is also available, as are other materials with winter-friendly activity ideas.
  • The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) has developed a flyer that includes winter-friendly tips for enjoying physical activity with others. For more, visit WIN’s health champion webpage

For Kids and Families

  • At ChooseMyPlate.gov, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a tip sheet that features 10 ideas to help kids get active for at least an hour each day. Activities like dancing and indoor games are ideal for the winter months. ChooseMyPlate also offers parents suggestions for indoor physical activities they can do with their preschool-aged children. 

For Older Adults

  • Go4Life, a campaign of the NIH’s National Institute on Aging, has created a fact sheet about exercising safely when the weather is cold. The Go4Life campaign is designed to help older adults get more physical activity.  Free fitness DVDs are also part of the campaign. Order the DVDs, or check out sample exercises on YouTube.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked with Tufts University to develop a guide on strength training for older adults. The guide identifies benefits of strength training, including improvement in health problems that affect many older adults, such as arthritis and back pain. It includes tools to assess fitness and set goals, and presents a program that can be done indoors all year.

How have you been staying active this winter? Have you helped someone else to be more active too?

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