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Enjoy the winter in a healthy way

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s not without its challenges. The cold weather can make it difficult to get enough exercise, and holiday treats and parties make it hard to maintain a healthy diet. Since physical activity helps control blood sugar levels, it is important for those who are looking to stay healthy or those who are borderline diabetic.

But don’t let the cold scare you! As it turns out, exercising in cold weather may improve endurance. Not only is it easier, but it also has significant benefits. Exercising exposes people to sunlight. During the winter, it can also boost your immune system and combat the effects of depression related to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Still, it can be hard to motivate, so we’ve put together some great ways for you to stay healthy over the holidays.

The snowball (fight?) effect

For fun outdoor activities for the whole family, the winter months offer a variety of seasonal favorites. For example, holiday traditions like caroling (both the singing and the walking), as well as seasonal pastimes like building a snowman or participating in a snowball fight, offer creative sources of exercise. Other options for winter activities include:

  • Sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Snow sports like skiing or snowboarding

Home sweat home

Colder weather can be restrictive and keep people couped up. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get exercise around the house—even without a treadmill or access to a gym. Try repurposing chores like sweeping, vacuuming, or shoveling snow for exercise that’s also productive. Or consider:

  • Walking the stairs or at the mall
  • Video game consoles with exercise options
  • Online exercise classes 

On the other hand, if you live in a warmer climate, we encourage you to stick to your current exercise routine. (But it’s always a good time to try a new class or workout!)

Food for thought

While staying active is key during the holidays, diet remains equally important for people with diabetes and prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends timing insulin dosages around the holiday meal and snack schedule, as well as:

  • Practicing portion control
  • Choosing food indulgences carefully
  • Eating enough vegetables

Whatever your seasonal traditions, we wish you a safe, warm, and healthy winter this year!

Need some more ideas? Check out these other resources:

  1. Staying active in cold weather
  2. American Heart Association: How to stay active in cold weather

To learn more about this program and how it could help you or one of your patients, email us at    

 We’ve partnered with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to offer the National Diabetes Prevention Program. This program includes both telehealth and digital care services, including video and online programming. Visit Prevent Diabetes [link to MWHC’s prevent diabetes page] for more information. You can also contact us at 1-844-326-3043 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., MST, Monday through Friday, or email us at The National Diabetes Prevention Program is offered by Tabula Rasa HealthCare and the APhA Foundation and is funded by the CDC.  

**Please do not send personal health information to We take your confidentiality seriously.**  

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