Once you’ve surpassed the age where it’s fun to be out and play in the snow, Canadian winters can become something you learn to dread instead of anticipate. With the freezing temperatures and never ending snowfalls, it’s tempting to curl up with a blanket in front of the fire and just refill your hot chocolate until spring comes. However, it’s important to stay as active as possible during the winter months! We have discussed the need to stay active through winter with some other professionals and each one has their own tips and tricks to accomplish this chilling goal!
Protect your skin
A winter walk can be a fantastic form of exercise. Dr. Alain Michon of Ottawa Skin Clinic cautions on having proper skin protection for all exposed skin as serious damage can occur from the winter elements on unprotected skin. It’s also important to remember that the sun is extremely reflective off the white snow and you can easily get sunburned. Don’t forget to wear lip balm with proper SPF protection!
Acknowledge mental health effects
Amanda Bacchus of Vaughan Relationship Centre reminds us that the winter months bring on depression in some people. For those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) try to get out and enjoy the sunny days and get some exercise by walking around your neighbourhood. Dr. Douglas Saunders of Clear Path Solutions encourages you to keep up your energy levels throughout the winter and make a point of seeing your therapist regularly if you suffer from SAD.
Have an indoor dance party!
If you are just not a winter person and walking outside in the winter months is incredibly unappealing to you, turn to fun indoor activities that can get your heart pumping without sacrificing body heat. Tami-Lynn Caiola of Greta Leeming Studio of Dance encourages you to turn up the music and dance. Dancing is a fantastic form of exercise and surprisingly quick to tire you out! Even if you don’t wish to join a dance class, you can still let loose in the comforts of your own home.
Seek out warmer and safer walking routes
Rose Titus of MEDability home medical equipment encourages those who have difficulty getting up and walking to not hibernate over the winter, but to find indoor space to get some exercise. Since the winter months make it more challenging for those with mobility concerns to navigate the rough terrain outdoors, spend time in malls or at your local gym. Eddie Chu of Qualicare agrees with this sentiment and encourages those who require assistance in order to get to a mall walking session to always ensure they have a reliable companion for the journey.
With determination and drive it is easy to stay active over the winter. Alex Lithwick of Purewater Total Home Leisure wishes to remind you to reward yourself for a job well done by taking a soak in your backyard hot tub. Don’t let the snow bring you down!
Exercise your ears
Remember, staying active year-round and not just in the winter can also help your ears, says Neil Fine, audiologist and owner of Hear Fine. Good cardiovascular health improves blood flow throughout the body. That blood flow is essential to good ear health. Studies suggest that cardiovascular fitness “contributes to better neural integrity in the cochlea.” In the winter, stay active by walking, snowshoeing, skiing, or heading to the gym for inner swimming, workouts, pilates, or yoga in a warm and comfy environment.
Make a commitment to yourself this winter to stay active, and stick to it! Your body will thank you.