7 Tips to Stay Active During The Winter Months
We often have the best intentions of staying active throughout the winter months, some will start strong, and others won’t start at all. What’s the culprit?
It’s cold outside. Yes, that’s it. In warmer climates people are able to maintain their level of activity outdoors all year long. But here in Canada, remaining active requires some planning, and a lot of commitment.
We Need at Least 2.5 Hours a Week
To reap any health benefits from exercise, we must commit to at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity a week. This can be broken down however you wish, 10 minutes a day of vigorous exercise to 1 hour a day every other day. How this will be met will depend on your plan fitting into your schedule, and you remaining committed to a healthy body.
It’s important to note that moderate intensity workouts should cause a sweat. Brisk walking or hiking, running, cross country skiing, bike riding, or a light jog with your pet. Anything that gets your heart rate pumping, your breath working a little harder and produces a little sweat is exactly what your body needs to remain healthy and injury free.
Here are 7 tips to keep you motivated and active during the winter months:
- Dress in layers. Ensuring you keep your extremities warm, your feet dry, and your body covered during the cold winter months will allow you to enjoy your activities.
- Stay active during the day. It’s easier to maintain any outdoor activity when the sun is out, even if it’s just a little sun. Beginning your outdoor activities before night time will make it easier to remain motivated to continue.
- Plan your activities ahead of time. When you’ve got your activity planned on your calendar, you’re less likely to forget about it. Better yet, if your activity is planned with a friend or an accountability partner, you’re most likely to stay on track.
- Sign up for a virtual run. There are so many online forums to participate in a run/marathon virtually. Your phone or device can monitor your steps/distance for you, and some will even offer you a participation medal at the end!
- Find fun local activities. Try something new, or go back to something you love. Snowshoeing, hiking, or ice skating can be tons of fun.
- Have indoor activities as a backup. Not everything has to be done outside, and there will certainly be days where it’s just too cold or wet to participate in the outdoor activities you have been enjoying.
- Climb stairs. If you live in a building, use the stairs instead of the elevator. You can even just commit to a certain number of floors to climb a day. If you’re living in a house, set an expectation for yourself like doing 30 flights a day.
Just Keep Doing it
Whatever you choose to do to remain active over the winter months, remember to share this with us so we can give you tips on safety and strength building. Remain hydrated always, it’s so easy to feel like you don’t need as much water because it’s not hot outside. Dehydration will quickly lead to headaches, dizziness, and muscle cramps.
The most important thing though, is to stay motivated. Set goals, review them monthly (or weekly) and plan ahead. It’s okay to remain flexible with your goals, as long as you don’t stop moving your body.
Stay safe everyone, and here’s to getting the fitness goals started ahead of time!
Tips to Stay On Top of Your Game
Who is your favourite athlete? Chances are good that you’re a fan because of the athlete’s performance. You might be surprised to find out that athletes at the top of their game likely have a Chiropractor on their team. You don’t need to be an elite-level competitor, however, to benefit from Chiropractic care.
Whether you’re considering starting an exercise program or already have one in place, there are some important guidelines you should consider to protect your health. Athletes and active people are often sidelined by injuries that could have been avoided. Rather than sitting out of your game, we want to ensure you perform at your peak, free from aches, pains and missing out on your favourite activities.
There’s Always a Risk of Injury
In any activity, there is a chance that you can be injured. It’s nearly impossible to control for all variables that can lead to an injury. Some of the most common injuries from sports include
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Ankle injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Shin splints
The Top Five Tips to Stay Healthy
If you want to stay injury-free, there are some easy guidelines you can follow to minimize your chance of being sidelined.
- Warm up and cool down. If your muscles are cold, they’re more prone to injury. A warmup routine could involve walking or stretching. When you stretch your muscles, they have a greater ability to contract and perform, which reduces the chances of an injury occurring. Hold each stretch for about 20 seconds. Your warmup and cool down routines should be 5-10 minutes each.
- Learn the right technique. If you’re beginning a new form of exercise, you must consider the right way to go about it. For example, a squat is a movement that’s commonly performed incorrectly. You can consult a trainer at your gym, a physical therapist or a friend who’s an avid exerciser that can advise you on your technique or tailor a program to your abilities.
- Listen to your body. Your body is ready to tell you when something is more than it’s capable of. If you’re new to a sport or exercise, start slow and build up your activity level over time. If you’re in pain, don’t try to work through it. Discontinue what you’re doing immediately.
- Get the right gear. Certain sports require footwear and protective equipment. A contact sport requires a mouthguard and pads. Though you may not like the expense, the proper gear will mean you’re better protected. Wear clothing that’s loose and comfortable to move around in. Your shoes should provide good support and absorb shock.
- See us regularly. Chiropractors are well-known for helping musculoskeletal issues. When your body is aligned, you may have a reduced risk of becoming injured, making it a great choice to prevent further problems.
What if I’m Already Injured?
Chiropractic care is well-known for providing solutions to many pain-related issues. The focus is on reducing any symptoms you have by increasing your body’s ability to function at 100%. When this occurs, your body has the best possible chance of healing itself. Your chiropractor might also be able to advise you on the proper rehabilitation of your injury, making sure you don’t return to the game before you’re ready to reduce the risk of further, more serious injuries occurring.