Don’t Let Cold Weather Put You into Hibernation!
The Snow is Here. Will it Keep You from an Active, Healthy Lifestyle?
by Lynnsey Eastoe, B.Kin, CSEP-CEP, FMS Level 1 & 2, Kinesiologist for Chronic Disease Management and Special Population Programs/Personal Trainer
With winter now at our doorstep, many of us tend to decrease our overall activity in exchange for binge-watching TV under a warm blanket! Studies have shown our environment plays a big part in our overall health behaviours and can be a perceived barrier to regular exercise. In fact, activity levels can be up to 20% less in the winter (December to March), compared to spring/summer.
This inactivity can increase risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. However, you don’t have to let the cold weather limit your exercise. Even if you regularily visit your fitness facility, you may need a back-up plan for bad weather or some activities to replace those that kept you moving beyond the gym in the summer.
Here are a few tips to help keep you active all winter long!
- Go mall walking – It’s free, so long as you are walking, not shopping!
- Workout at home – Pop in a workout DVD (many public libraries have exercise DVDs available free!) or use your own body weight to get moving: stand up and sit down slowly from a chair, do wall or table push-ups, or walk or run up and down a flight of stairs.
- Find a winter activity – Curling, skating, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing are great seasonal activities that can burn a lot of calories and keep you warm in the cold!
- Shovel snow – Be sure to dress for the weather and use your legs to avoid hurting your back!
- Try a new class or activity indoors – There are many styles of class or indoor activities, such as swimming or badminton.