Staying active – but baby, it’s cold outside

Motivation to get out and active in winter months can be as fleeting as daylight at this time of year

Ministry of Health

Motivation to get out and get active in the winter months can be as fleeting as daylight at this time of year. We all know we need to keep up our activity level, even in the winter weather, but it’s cold outside. Here are 12 tips for keeping active during the winter:

1. Create an activity calendar for a month, with daily challenges for staying active. Get your kids or friends to help out and participate in the activities so you have others to help you stick to the schedule and get some social time in too.

2. Bundle up and go tobogganing, build a snowman, try snowshoeing or hit the mountains to go skiing. Snow can’t stop us! We are Canadian!

3. Get your boots on and play in the puddles. Check out gumboot dancing online if you need splashing inspiration.

4. While you are preparing for family and friends arriving for dinners or gatherings, remember all that housework counts towards your recommended physical activity. Cleaning isn’t so bad when you think about it that way, is it?

5. Check out your local parks, recreation or community centres. They have activities to suit all ages, budgets and schedules – allowing you to be active and meet new people.

6. Go for a short walk and keep it simple. There are lots of places you can go to rack up the recommended 10,000 steps a day.

7. Run errands on foot. Park at the far end of the lot or leave the car at home. Those extra steps add up and you won’t have to scrape the windshield, plus walking to do your errands allows you to discover your neighbourhood in a whole new way.

8. Start small: do jumping jacks during commercials, or commit to taking the stairs everywhere you go. Smaller goals are easier to achieve and give you lots of room to challenge yourself as you get more comfortable.

9. Take your workout gear. Bringing your workout clothes to work gives you one less reason to skip post-work exercise. If you are visiting friends out of town, bring your gear with you so you can join their work out.

10. Go play in the back yard or park with your kids. Children need between 60 and 180 minutes of physical activity a day, so joining them is sure to keep you on track with activity levels.

11. Dancing is a fun and easy way to get the blood flowing. You don’t have to be Misty Copeland or the next dance prodigy to get the benefits of cutting a rug. Crank up the tunes and get the whole family involved in a goofy dance off.

12. Looking for a new favourite activity? Use online videos to try out the basics of yoga, tai chi or a new dance. That way, you’ll know if you like it before committing to formal instruction or classes.

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week in sessions of 10 minutes or more. By doing just over 20 minutes of activity a day you can help reduce your risk of premature death, heart disease and stroke, among many other health benefits. For more information and tips on how to stay active visit: