Most of us know that staying active during the wintertime is usually far more challenging than it is at any other time of year. When the sun sets earlier, things can feel dark, gloomy and the temptation to hibernate and push exercise to the wayside can be high.
And with current conditions happening this year, we know that staying motivated this winter might feel especially tough.
However, studies show that working out during the wintertime offers a wealth of health benefits. Getting proper exercise during winter is an excellent way to boost your immunity and reduce your chances of falling victim to seasonal affective disorder (also known as the “winter blues”). Better yet, working out in chillier temperatures can even double the amount of fat you burn!If you’re hoping to stay active this winter, you’ve made a great call. Luckily, there are several things to do in Vancouver and nearby that can help you stay committed to your workout plan. In this article, we’ll list 5 winter activities to consider when keeping active during the colder months.
1. Join a gym (when it’s safe to do so again)
While making the choice to be more active might seem easy, actually carrying it out or getting started is sometimes the hardest part. So when it’s safe to finally go back to the gym, there are certainly some benefits to consider.
Of course, having top-of-the-line equipment at your fingertips can make exercise during the wintertime a lot easier. Gyms are usually set up with various equipment devices, such as treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, rowing machines, stationary bikes, yoga balls and more. While it can be pricey to purchase one of these machines to use in your home, a gym membership provides you with unlimited access to workout equipment at a much better price point.
On top of providing an indoor refuge to stay active during winter, gyms are also the perfect place to really focus on exercise. Given that there’s nothing else to do at the gym besides work out, it’s a great place to go to minimize any distractions.
2. Take the stairs
If you’re in or around any metro stations or just about any public place that has multiple platforms, take the stairs! While it might seem quicker and easier to use elevators or escalators, you’d be surprised to learn just how good taking the stairs can be for your cardiovascular health.
Believe it or not, 5 minutes of running up the stairs is equivalent to about 20 minutes of regular cardio exercise in the gym. The vertical component of stair climbing makes it a unique and efficient form of exercise. Better yet, a set of stairs is pretty easy to access outdoors if you live anywhere in a city (like Vancouver), ensuring that you can engage in both a safe and healthy workout this year.
3. Find a workout buddy
While we do recommend maintaining proper safety measures right now (eg. staying within your social bubble or social distancing), exercising with a workout buddy is one of the best ways to stick to an exercise routine. This is especially true during the wintertime, when it can feel much more tempting to cozy up on the couch after the sun sets and binge the latest series on Netflix.
Working out with a buddy is a great way to bring accountability into your exercise plan. Having a workout partner means you can both hold each other accountable if one of you falls short on your goals.
Having someone to share progress with is also a great way to foster a healthy level of competition — which can give each of you the push you need to keep going when things get tough. A true partner or friend also provides encouragement, which is essential when taking on any sort of challenge.
4. Schedule and plan workouts in advance
Creating a workout schedule is a great way to bring consistency into your plan. This can be especially helpful during the winter, when it gets dark earlier, when we generally feel more lazy or when seasonal changes can deter us from sticking to our goals.
Whether you’re choosing to exercise at home or outside the home, we suggest starting your plan by picking five days of the week that are most suitable to exercise, choosing the ideal time of day (eg. the morning or after you’re finished work) and then making a pledge that even on hard days, you’ll stick to your routine. Once you can actually see the workout plan in action, it will be much easier to stay committed!
5. Dress in layers
When it comes to the current state of our world, this tip is especially helpful — as many of us may find ourselves carrying out our exercise routines outside the gym for as long as we can this year. Luckily, if we layer our clothes right, outdoor workouts can be done safely — even when the temperature starts to drop.
When exercising outdoors, be sure to start with a base layer of tight-fitting compression material. This will help keep any sweat or moisture from your workout at bay. Tight, long-sleeved shirts or running tights usually work best for this.
Next, make sure you’ve got a middle layer on for extra protection. For maximum comfort, this layer should be a bit looser than your base layer. Anything made from spandex or fleece should do the trick.
Lastly, depending on how low the temperature is, you may need to finish your ensemble with an outer layer to repel the cold and contain your body heat. Great outerwear options include a windproof running jacket or loose-fitted jogging pants (that should be worn over tights).
And, one last thing: if you find it hard to run or jog in the cold weather, don’t fret! Even taking frequent walks during the colder months will help you burn calories, reduce stress and clear your mind.
Contact Kilian Chiropractic Today
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and encourage everyone to do their best to stay active as we make it through this winter! To learn more about our services or how we can be a part of your wellness plan, schedule an appointment with the Kilian Chiropractic team today.