With the latest AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations and the newly updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, we have more guidance about why – and how – we need to move more. The main message is: MOVE MORE, SIT LESS – an important first step. But winter and cold weather can be a major impediment to getting active and eventually meeting the recommended 20-30 minutes daily of moderate physical activity.
Health care experts know the benefits of activity, so how do they keep fit in winter? We asked oncology dietitians how they stay active, and what they recommend to their patients when it’s just too cold or nasty to go outside. We shared some ideas in AICR’s eNewsletter this month, but here are even more of those creative choices*:
- A self-challenge: I like the Fitbit to keep track of my activity. I have a “challenge” from 5 am to 6 pm to get at least 250 steps each hour. At 10 minutes before the hour, I get an alert if I haven’t achieved that.
- I use the GoNoodle app for my kids (and I join in sometimes). – J. Paige Williamson, MS, RD, LDN
- Try SparkPeople.com videos! They are good for a variety of abilities and fitness levels. – Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, CDE
- I like Jessica Smith TV (free YouTube videos) for cardio/aerobic routines (shorter or longer based on the time you have available or fitness level). Her cardio routines use HIIT (high-intensity interval training) concept, so can be suitable for different fitness levels. There are other free videos on YouTube, but look for those instructors who are credentialed and trained.
- I recommend gentle strength training while watching TV a couple of times weekly (I use the book Strong Women Stay Young by Miriam Nelson – an oldie but goodie). I get up every commercial and stretch, walk or get a drink of water, for example. The new Guidelines recommend strength training on 2 days per week. – Anita Vincent, RDN, CSO, LDN
- Several dietitians mentioned FitnessBlender, an online program that includes both free and paid workout options. – Katie Dorsch, RD, LDN
There are also suggestions from RDs for favorite sites that include monthly or annual fees:
- LesMills.com – “I can do it whoever I want, either at my gym or at home.” Classes are on demand and include dance, yoga, core, martial arts, weight lifting, and spring classes. – Karen Huntzinger, MS, RD, CSO
- Daily Burn: They have everything from boot camps to prenatal yoga. You can get different levels of subscriptions and classes that change daily, keeping it interesting. – Liz LeFevre, MHS, RD, CSO, LD
- I really like the Gaia app. It is ~$100/year but includes thousands of yoga, pilates, and meditation videos. I have the app on my tablet and also on our Roku as a “station.” There are activities for every fitness level. – Lily Rogers, RD, CSO, CNSC
*The listing of these programs and links are provided as a convenience and do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by AICR of any of the products, services or opinions of these companies or organizations.