How to exercise and stay flu-free this winter

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

autumn jog
You can stay fit during the chilly season.

Flu season’s here, sending sniffles, coughing, and sneezing throughout the neighborhood, but there are ways to lessen your chances of getting it.

Why does the flu bug seem to get all feisty during autumn and winter? Well, not only is there less virus-killing sunlight, the frosty weather also forces contagious folks indoors, where they’re more likely to come in contact with others and pass germs on surfaces like doorknobs.

So, be sure to wash your hands often and encourage people to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough, preferably with their arms. Also, if you eat healthy, get plenty of rest, and exercise, your body’s natural defenses will be better equipped to resist those yucky bugs.

When it gets chilly outside, it’s easy to get discouraged from exercising, so here are some winter-friendly tips for getting your heart pumping.

First up, if you spend 10 minutes warming up indoors with some jumping jacks, then the cool weather won’t feel so bad. Just be sure to wear comfy sweats to keep yourself extra toasty. If it’s snowy or icy outside, there’s plenty of indoor exercise you can do, even without fancy gym equipment. Pushups are a great way to work out your entire body, build muscle, and strengthen your heart, while jogging in place is a convenient way to enjoy your favorite TV shows and break a sweat at the same time. Or, try lifting some weights, slowly building up your strength before tackling heavier loads. No matter what strategy you choose for wintry exercise, stay hydrated with lots of water!

Featured image courtesy of Łukasz Hejnak on Flickr. Image of autumn joggers courtesy of Frank M. Rafik on Flickr.