Greetings, Edmontonians. As the cold winds start to blow and the snow blankets our city, I know that it can be tempting to hibernate indoors and put your fitness routine on hold. But staying active in the winter is essential for your physical and mental well-being. And speaking from my perspective as a chiropractor, staying active is crucial to keep your spine and nervous system healthy. In this blog post, I’ll share six valuable tips to help you maintain an active lifestyle during the chilly months.
Reasons to stay active in the winter
Before I discuss some tips to help you stay active active in the winter, I want to reiterate the importance of regular exercise. Maybe this in itself will be motivating enough for you get moving this winter. Regular exercise will improve your brain health, help manage your weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen your muscles and bones, and will help keep you doing everyday activities injury free. (1)
As well, I want to expand on staying active in the winter to help ensure you are in tip top shape for your spring and summer activities. Indeed, every spring I see a rise in injuries like golf and gardening injuries that could have been prevented by staying active in the winter. These types of injuries can be disheartening because there’s a short period of time for people in Edmonton to enjoy their favourite spring and summer activities. Ensure you are doing some sort of activity this winter so you can keep enjoying the things you love next spring and summer.
Embrace winter sports to stay active in the winter
Winter offers a unique opportunity to engage in exciting outdoor activities. Consider taking up skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating. These sports not only keep you physically active but also provide a thrilling experience. Remember, even beginners can enjoy these activities with proper guidance and equipment. So stay active in the winter by hitting the slopes or gliding on the ice!
Layer your clothing and put your foot out the door
I know full well what’s it feels like to look outside and it’s dark and cold. It’s often just easier to say screw it and stay inside the comfort of your home. However, if you can just get dressed properly and layer your clothing, that’s the first step to committing. Next, just step outside. Once you’re outside and start moving around you will realize it’s not that bad. And when you carry through with your planned activity you will feel way better mentally and physically. Here’s a good article on how to dress for winter exercise.
The importance of walking to stay active in the winter
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple walk. Walking is a fantastic way to stay active in the winter, and it’s accessible to everyone. Bundle up in warm clothing, lace up your boots, and explore the beautiful river valley in Edmonton. Fresh air and outdoor scenery can do wonders for your mood.
Indoor workouts for cold days
There’s no question there will be days in our winter where going outside may be too cold. When the mercury hits -25 to -30 degrees celsius you may want to bring your activity indoors. Join a local gym or fitness class, or create your home gym. Keeping a consistent workout routine will help you maintain your fitness goals and keep those winter blues at bay. Remember, staying active in the winter is all about perseverance!
You can achieve a full-body workout with minimal equipment at home. Incorporate warm-up and stretching routines to prevent injuries.
Here’s a good warm-up and stretching routine from our Alberta Chiropractic Association called Straighten Up Alberta.
Finally, at the time of this writing if you search for “primal blueprint fitness e-book” you will be able to download Mark Sisson’s excellent fitness book. Mark’s book will guide you through real natural movements that humans are meant to do with limited equipment. Furthermore, his e-book guides you through each exercise based on your fitness level.
Group activities to stay active in the winter
Consider joining group fitness classes or sports leagues in your community. The camaraderie and support from fellow participants can be highly motivating. In Edmonton, we have a vibrant community of active individuals who enjoy group activities. Explore the options available and stay active together!
Shovelling snow is exercise
The thought of shovelling snow again this coming winter does not bode well with me and many of you Edmontonians. However, when the snow falls I have learned to reframe my mind. Instead of dreading shovelling I think of the great exercise I am getting when I do have to shovel. Again, as hard as it is to get out there, once you do and start moving you will feel better.
In conclusion, the winter season should not be an excuse to put your fitness on hold. With these six tips, you can stay active in the winter and reap the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle. Remember, your mindset plays a significant role in overcoming winter inertia, so stay positive and motivated.
If you have any winter-related injuries or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Dr. Dean Collins, your Edmonton chiropractor. I’m here to support your journey to a healthier you, no matter the season. Let’s make this winter an active and enjoyable one!
To learn more about how chiropractic care can help you and your family, read Dr. Collins’ comprehensive guide about chiropractic: Chiropractic Care for Everyone.