How to Stay Active in Cold Weather

After the Christmas hustle and bustle is over, there is the hard realization that we must face living in this part of the world.  The fact that there will most undowbtedly be a few more months of winter weather to contend with.  We hav ea choice to make with howe we want to spend the winter months going forward.  We can pull the blankets over our head and hibernate or suit up, go outside, and have an adventure!  In fact, exercising in the cooler weather has soem distinct advantages.

  • No heat or humidity to make us feel groggy and slow us down.
  • Your body can work out longer outside which means more claories are burned
  • Every extra bit of vitamin D from the sunlight is crucial in the darker winter months
  • Exercises can boost immunity which is no more important than ever

Outdoor Activities to Try:

  • Hiking
  • Shoveling
  • Running
  • Ice Skating
  • Sledding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snnowboarding/Downhill Skiing
  • Snow-Shoeing
  • Snow Tubing
  • Fat Tire Biking

Tips for Exercising Outdoors in Colder Weather:

Insulate your body: The best approach to dressing for outdoor activity is with layers.  It is the most effective way to stay warm and dry.  Remember that the layer closest to your body should allow moisture to be wicked away.  The materail to avoid when layering is cotton.  The layer farthers from your body should be wind and water resistant.

Keep your clothes on: While you may be tempted to remove layers when you go back inside it is best to wait a good 10-15 minutes before doing that so that your body may adjust to the change in temperature, assuming that you are dry when coming back inside.  We want to avoid loosing heat too quickly and cause post-exercise hypothermia.

Drink Up: It is just as important to stay hydrated when active in the winter.  You may not feel as thirsty but your body still requires hydration.  Drink water before during and after an outdoor workout.  Smart tip: carry a thermos of herbal tea.
Use Daylight Hours: If possible it is best to be active outdoors while it is still light out.  Shorter days do make this more difficult.  It you choose to workout while it’s dark, try to wear reflective materials on your clothing to be safe.

Indoor Activities in Colder Weather:

When the weather is not conducive to exercising outside it is still important to remain active.  Here are a few ideas:

Walk at an indoor location, like a mall.  If you need extra motivation to get yourself going, join a walking group.

Get wet: Find a local indoor pool.  Try swimming, water aerobics, or even just walking or running laps in the water.

Visit a library: Sign out a few DVD’s for motivation such as aerobics, yoga, pilates or dance.  Alternatively, follow an online exercise program offered by a local gym.

Sign up for activities at your local commmunity centre: Choose an activity that you know you will enjoy and participate in.

Climbing stairs: Either at home or at your worplace, climbing up and dow the stairs can be a very intense and efficient workout.


Friendly Reminder

Dr. Frederick is looking forward to filling her bulletin boards located int he animal treatement room with more photos of her beloved 4 legged patients.  We would be so grateful if you could please email a photo to or the next time you are in with your photogenic best friend, please bring one in with you!