Saskatoon and Region

Keeping Active in Winter

By Kimberly Willison, Senior Recreation Therapist

As the snow starts to fall and temperatures drop, our time outdoors tends to decrease.  This is also a time when we are tempted to hibernate for the winter, but remember that we still need to maintain our physical activity even in the winter for our health benefits.  Here are a few tips to keep active this winter:

  • Set realistic goals to achieve every day.  This could be to walk 10-20 min every day, to go to the gym or fitness class a certain number of days per week.  Just set a goal and try to stick to it.
  • Accept setbacks.  A cold or flu, an appointment, something unexpected may derail your goals.  Don’t let it get you down as it happens to everyone.  Start back up again as soon as you can.
  • Choose things you enjoy to do, as those will be the activities that you will be most motivated to do.  Try something new or something you haven’t done for a while this winter – go to a fitness class you never have before, go snow shoeing or ice skating.
  • Sneak it in by choosing stairs over elevators, parking a little further from the front door and choosing to stand over sit; would all be little ways to get in a bit more physical activity. 
  • Keep Hydrated all year long.  Just because you’re not warm/hot like in the summer we still need to drink water.

When being physically active outside:

  • Choose a good pair of light weight winter boots that are warm and provide good support.  Look for boots that fit you well, are well insulated and waterproof, have a non-slip tread sole with wide, low heels.
  • Dress in layers to help keep you warm and dry as you exercise, that way you can remove a layer if you do get too warm.  The inside layer should allow moisture to be wicked away, the outside layer wind/water resistant. 
  • Try to be active in the daylight as this is a safer time for people to see you as well as the warmer part of the day.  If you choose to go out in the dark be sure to wear reflective materials on your clothing.
  • Wear sunglasses even in the winter as the sun reflecting off the snow can be harmful to your eyes.

Forever…in motion exercise groups happen all year long, for more information about a group near you call 306-844-4080 for more information.