Staying Active Outdoors this Winter
It may be tempting to stay inside during the winter, but did you know that people of all ages can experience significant health benefits by being active outdoors during the colder months of the year? In fact, it is beneficial for all of us to embrace winter and head outside!
Benefits of being active outdoors during winter
Due to decreased daytime hours, we tend to be outside less and our vitamin D levels often drop throughout the winter. Being outside exposes you to sunlight, even on overcast days, which helps our bodies produce vitamin D. In addition to increasing our vitamin D, getting outside into nature can lessen stress and improve mood. Studies have linked being outside to a reduction in cortisol, a stress hormone. As the stress state decreases, your overall mood can improve. There are also the many known benefits of being active, particularly that moving the body releases endorphins. Endorphins help promote relaxation and improve mood.
Fun ways to stay active
Cross-country skiing: This activity can be a fun way to increase and maintain endurance in a low-impact way. It can even help you get more confidence in being active. Make sure you warm up your muscles, with some walking for example, before getting started. This can help prevent injuries and get your muscles ready to work.
Go snowshoeing: This activity can be a fun way to add variety to your regular walk. Snowshoes are designed to distribute your weight and let you walk on deeper snow without falling into it. You can try hitting the trails in provincial parks for beautiful winter views.
Go tobogganing: You can spend time with the kids while getting in some exercise. Walking up and down a tobogganing hill is no easy task. Take it slow with breaks as needed. If you are daring to ride down the hill, don’t forget to wear safety gear.
Do you want to build a snowman?: Why not spend time with family and have some fun? Building a snowman can be a lot of work, but the kids can help. Remember to protect yourself and get help with lifting if needed when putting together your snowman creation.
Shovel snow: Shoveling snow can be a great way to get in some exercise with the added benefit of clearing your driveway. Make sure to grip the shovel with your hands apart and try to push snow before lifting. Try lifting less snow each time if you are finding it difficult – you will still get in a workout, but put less strain on your body. If you would like more tips on safe shoveling check out this blog on snow shoveling 101.
Take it slow outside and watch the weather conditions to make sure you stay safe. Remember to use equipment properly and as intended when participating in any sports. Most importantly remember to have fun! Speak to your CURAVITA practitioner about getting yourself in the best condition for your outdoor winter adventures.