Staying Active During Winter
Originally posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors
You go outside, only to find your hands freezing and nose running. You drive to work in the pitch-black of darkness and step outside after a long day on the job, only for it to be dark again. It can be hard to stay motivated and committed to fitness and activity during the winter months.
While it can be easy to lose sight of your activity levels until you’ve thawed out a little, research has shown it’s important to exert yourself in the winter months. As the darkness and cold creeps in, your serotonin (or feel-good chemical) levels drop. Consistent exercise and activity is a great way to combat this. Getting up and moving in the winter also boosts immunity by keeping the lymphatic system active.
With the Olympic Winter Games and Alberta Winter Games on the horizon, winter activities are going to be top of mind as well!
Below are some tips to keep active during the winter months:
- Get outside and move. This option embraces the cold. Alberta is full of opportunities to use the frigid weather to your advantage. Skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing or skating are all great options to keep you moving outside. You can also check what’s going on locally, as most communities regularly host fun events during the winter months. For instance, on February 7, you can take part in Winter Walk Day, an Alberta-wide initiative which encourages people of all ages to get outside and move during winter. Last year saw over 100,000 participants – take a winter stroll, join a chiropractic clinic or organize your own walk.
- Activity in your day-to-day life. Being active doesn’t always have to mean sweating it out. Making little, conscious decisions to get up and move can do wonders for your overall health. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get out and shovel the snow by hand (using the correct technique, of course). Get up from your desk and take a short walk every few hours. It’s little activities like these that can help break up the monotony your body can feel during the winter months.
- Join a gym. A great indoor option is to join a gym. Joining a gym doesn’t just have to mean running on a treadmill or lifting weights. A lot of fitness facilities offer a variety of indoor activities and classes for you to participate in. This may include basketball, swimming, squash, yoga, etc. This may be cost prohibitive for many, but still remains a great option.
Exercise your best with the right advice
Chiropractors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the musculoskeletal system (the body’s bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, joints and connective tissue). Visits to your chiropractor can identify potential dysfunction that may be occurring to ensure your bones, muscles, joints and nerves are working together properly, which reduces stress placed on ligaments. Your chiropractor can tell you what type of exercise best suits you before you embark on a new exercise regimen. They can also help work with you to identify areas of weakness to work on and activities you should avoid, to keep yourself strong and healthy.