During the winter months, many of us feel more like sitting around and watching television instead of going for a run! But despite a natural tendency in winter to slow down, staying active is essential for our health and our state of mind.
The first step, what do you like to do outdoors? For some, it might be skating or skiing, or snowboarding. For others, it might be a quiet hike in a wooded trail or exploring your neighbourhood by foot. Pick something that you actually enjoy doing outdoors and you are more likely to add it to your plans for the week.
Get the right geaR: Winter activities need the right equipment. If you are going to go walking, sneakers won’t work when it’s cold and wet! Get yourself proper boots that keep your feet warm and are good for hiking. The same applies to sports. Skates or ski boots that don’t fit or make your feet cold can turn you off of the activity. There are many second hand and sports-swap shops in the city. Equip yourself well.
Wear the best clothes: The same goes for outdoor clothes. Toronto winters sometimes require clothes to withstand cold temperatures and strong winds. Other times, our winter days can be wet and slushy. Dress in layers and pick what you need so you are comfortable.
Evenings can be fun too: Don’t limit yourself to day time. You may need to add an extra layer of clothing, but there are some great activities that can be even more fun at night, like skating on an outdoor rink.
Get active indoors: Okay, so you really don’t want to go out in the weather, or the ice is making conditions dangerous. Indoor shopping malls are great places to get walking exercise, especially if you don’t have access to a club or sports facility. Walk around a local art gallery, or explore the many downtown “paths” underneath the city (around King and Bay).
There also are many indoor activities at your local recreational facility, such as badminton, tennis, squash, and of course, swimming. Schedule in at least a day a week and when you’re running around in your t-shirt or swimming, pretend it is summer once again!
Dance like nobody’s watching: Use music videos or put on your own tunes, and dance your way to being more active.
Drink up and moisturize: Winter is far worse on your skin than summer. Stay hydrated by drinking water, even if you are not thirsty. A thermos of tea is a great idea.
Remember to wear a heavier moisturizer in winter, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Your hair also needs a good conditioner.
Create a home gym: Set up an area in your home as an exercise corner. It may be as simple as a place where you put a workout mat and some weights, or maybe you invest in some exercise equipment. .
And whether you are at home or in your workplace, everyone can spend a few minutes climbing up and down the stairs for an intense and efficient workout.