After the excitement and fun of Christmas and New Year’s wears off, it's normal that we can be left feeling a bit depressed and perhaps quite tired of the cold. Making movement a priority and staying active during winter is one way to keep those blues at bay. Here are some tips for staying active this winter.
Whilst it can be challenging to motivate oneself to get outdoors when the weather’s cold and dreary, there are some real benefits in doing it:
- Exercise can boost the immune system
- You’ll get wonderful fresh air
- No matter how you feel at the beginning of being outside, the cold will help you feel invigorated in no time
- If the sun happens to be out – you'll get a much-needed dose of vitamin D
- That feeling of a nice hot cuppa or hot chocolate upon returning home
Some things to keep in mind
- You might not sweat as much or get as thirsty as you would in hot weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough liquids before and after you exercise
- Stay warm by wearing enough layers, especially if you're running or jogging - make sure they're removable so you can adjust them as your body temperature rises and drops
- Stay safe by avoiding icy areas and areas of low visibility
Not sure what you feel like doing?
That's alright! Keep an open mind and go with the flow. Perhaps some of these activities feel good to you:
- A brisk walk or hike in nature
- Going for a jog
- Raking leaves or shovelling snow
- Making a snow man or having a snowball fight
- Snowboarding or skiing
- Snow shoeing or cross-country skiing
Keep it Indoors
If you can’t seem to get motivated to venture outdoors, or the weather just won’t permit it, don’t let that prevent you from staying active. When we exercise our body produces endorphins that we benefit from, especially in the winter when the sun’s not out as much. Plus, with new lockdowns, there are more online resources than ever. Now’s the time to take advantage.
Some ideas for indoor movement
- Dancing to your favourite music
- Stretching or yoga
- Aerobic exercises
- HIIT workouts
- Calisthenics or bodyweight exercises
Don’t Strive to be Perfect
Winter is naturally an inactive time. You are part of nature, and nature itself slows down during this time. Naturally, your body will follow suit. Don’t worry if you don’t feel as motivated. Just go with the flow. Listen to your body and give it what it needs. If you feel like you need to rest more, rest more. If you feel like you want warm, comforting meals, eat warm, comforting meals. If you feel like you need to do lighter exercise, do lighter exercise.
Remember, when it comes to our health, the little things add up and consistency is key. And something, no matter how small, is always better than nothing.