Are you Having Trouble Staying Active this Winter??
9 Great tips to stay in shape during the cold months
Snowy days can be nice for a bit, but they tend to make us want to huddle under a blanket and read a good book, rather than get outside and work up a sweat. Making, and sticking to, a clear plan can help you set aside days and times to get in your exercise.
To make up a good week of beneficial exercise, adults need 2.5 hours of activity over 7 days. These need to be in bouts of ten minutes or more. Activities categorized as moderate-to-vigorous aerobics are more easily accomplished and beneficial. Exercises in this category include brisk walking or bike riding. Generally, you know your activity is moderate-intensity if you sweat a little and breathe harder than your normal day-to-day. Vigorous-intensity activities include jogging or cross-country skiing, and you’re likely to find yourself sweating and feeling out of breath.
Here are a few tips to help keep you on track and motivated this winter:
· When activities are in your calendar, you’re less likely to forget or brush them off. This also helps set good habits.
· Snow shoeing, skiing, skating, or cross-country skiing can all be new activates to try.
· Insulation can make all the difference. It’s a lot easier to stick with it when you are comfortable!
· We all know the dread of waking up in the morning in the dark! Using your daytime hours for activities will make it easier to get out and about.
· . For those days that you can’t make it in time to catch the sunlight, try finding classes at your local community centre. This could be aerobics classes, badminton, basketball, or yoga classes.
· Deliberately add more steps to your day. Consider going up and down a flight in your home, the mall, or an office building more than once over the course of your regular daily activities. As little as five minutes can make a huge difference for your health.
· There are plenty of free exercise DVDs you can borrow, including dance, step, aerobics, or Pilates. You can use the return date as a deadline to pick up another one!
· You can often find non-competitive “fun runs” in your community that are usually between 5 and 10 kilometers. You can invite friends and family to join in!
· Find someone willing to commit to being active as often as you are, and set a plan. That could be planning to meet for morning walks, afternoon workouts at the gym, or even following along to YouTube exercise channels in the comfort of your own home! Having a friend keeps you accountable.
For help on setting activity goals based on your specific musculoskeletal needs, you can always ask your chiropractor about what activities are right for you.
Whatever your activity level is, remember to stay hydrated. It is easy to forget to drink water when it’s cold out, but your body needs just as much hydration in a snowstorm as it does in a heatwave.
Most importantly, stay motivated. Revisit your goals to make sure you’re still on track and to make sure they are still realistic. Plan ahead with specific goals, activities, dates and times. Make sure you can envision your goal as you look ahead towards the finish line.
Here’s to staying active in the new year!
1. Canadian Chiropractic Association
2. . 1st ed. CSEP; 2016. Available at: http://www.csep.ca/CMFIles/Guidelines/CSEP_PAGuidelines_adults_en.pdf. Accessed November 7, 2016.
3. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. 11 ways to stay active in winter. 2009. Heartandstroke.ca. Available at: http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ikIQLcMWJtE&b=4832209&ct=7596299. Accessed November 7, 2016.