Immune Health and Active Living

Don’t get too comfy in bed:

February, 2020

Besides having to shovel the driveway and survive the cold elements during our daily commute, winter can be pretty chilled out, literally and figuratively.

Add how cozy it is to just stay in bed wrapped like a burrito while binge watching multiple streaming providers, it’s completely normal to fall into hibernation mode and just wait it out until spring.

So, how exactly can you avoid going full hibernation mode and still make the most of the winter months?

Here are three foolproof strategies to keep yourself active and warm during the coldest months.

1. Prepare your body for trying new things and don’t hold out for spring:

Like a cold shower, moving your body early morning can be a hard ask but it doesn’t have to be. Start with 10 push ups every morning and add 5 more each subsequent week. More importantly, don’t just run through the movement aimlessly. Give yourself the opportunity to feel your muscles wake up, pay attention to how they feel when the contract and relax.
Now that you’re ready to conquer the day, pick a winter activity you’re genuinely excited to try and just go for it. Winter is the perfect opportunity to try new things because you have the New Year’s Momentum still in strong effect. Use it to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Never learned how to skate? Great, take skating lessons. Ever wanted to experience a weekend at a chalet? Perfect, book it and while you’re there try skiing or snowboarding for the first time. Ever wanted to snow camp? Probably not. That’s okay. The point is winter is a time for change and knowing that can help you steer away from complacency or holding out until spring to actually do something.

2. Waking up refreshed together before starting your day:

Being active is always more fun when you do it with friends and family. One the easiest ways to get moving together is planning a snow day. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Even a simple walk through the elements can suffice as a good cardiovascular routine. You can also plan family chores such as shovelling or walking pets as a fun opportunity to squeeze in some physical activity. Now that you’re all awake and feeling energetic, find some local winter activities that can serve as both a network opportunity to meet neighbours and are also a fun way to stay active. Plan outings to events such as community winter fairs, community winter runs, community tobogganing, the list goes on. Not much of a people person, not a problem. Challenge a few friends to a snowball fight. Just have fun with it.

3. You don’t have to go outside to stay active:

It’s also important to know that you can be just as active even when you stay in. One of the most efficient ways to stay limber and mobile during the winter months is by incorporating a home workout routine. Home workouts are great options to sneak in 20 minutes of physical activity everyday regardless of the weather outside.

Here’s a simple full body workout that you can do anytime and anywhere.

  • Squats
  • Split Squats
  • Push Ups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Sit ups

20 Reps each, for 5 sets (or as many as possible) in 20 minutes.

Regardless of the sub-zero temperature outside, you can always find indoor activities running through the winter months. In addition to a home workout you can take up swimming, join indoor field sports/ leagues, try rock climbing, and even hot yoga are all great options to beat the cold weather blues.

The key to staying active in the winter months is knowing that you have options beyond staying in and watching tv. Options that are fun and exciting enough that they can motivate you to stay away from hibernation mode. Winter is an amazing time to appreciate change and foster relationships. You’d be surprised how much you gain when you make the small investment in a good pair of winter boots and warm snow attire.