It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!
Winter is not the exclusive domain of world-class athletes! You too can conquer the white season and enjoy its lovely landscapes.
Get moving! It feels great!
The benefits of physical activity are no secret to anyone: decreased blood pressure, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, improved weight and blood sugar management… On top of all this, it also helps fight off the seasonal blues by acting as a great source of energy and well-being.
Keeping the flame alive
Some activities can be practised throughout the year (jogging, for example). If your favourite physical pastime is firmly anchored in your habits, you’ll have less trouble continuing it when the mercury drops. Winter could also be a good time to switch sports—kind of like a wardrobe refresh!
If you’re not already active, no need to get discouraged! Start small. Step by step, you’ll begin enjoying it, and before you know it, time will fly during your workout sessions. Look at it as fun “me” time!
Setting foot outside
No matter the time of year, if you want to have fun getting active, you need an activity you like. Try giving new adventures a go or rediscovering fun childhood memories.
- Introduce your kids to skating, skiing or snowshoeing. Enthusiasm is catching, and the whole family will be having fun in no time!
- Go sliding with your family, or take a walk while dragging your toddlers along in a sled.
- Let your creativity run wild: bring snowmen to life, sculpt animals or mythical creatures… Who said that sport and art are mutually exclusive?
- Go for a nice, old-fashioned walk—see your neighbourhood in a new light!
A few precautions
- Try to go out around midday, when it’s a little warmer and the sun is high in the sky.
- Don’t forget to dress warmly and cover your hands and face.
- If the sidewalk is likely to be frozen, wear cleats.
- Cold air tends to make you forget to drink water. Stay hydrated!
- Take good care of your skin! You should use sunscreen even in the winter. Bring things like moisturizing cream and lip balm along, too.
- If you’re planning to stay outside for a long time, bring a snack and blood sugar testing equipment as needed. Keep your equipment in your coat pocket or near your body so that the cold doesn’t damage the strips and cause your glucose meter to malfunction.
Remember to measure and take note of your glucose levels before and after every physical activity session.
In extremely cold weather, it’s better to stay indoors, but that’s no excuse for melting into your sofa until the snow melts!
If you don’t feel like visiting the gym, there are lots of exercises you can do at home, with or without equipment. Why not tone your abs, legs or arms while watching a movie or between chores?
Remember to consult your health care professional; they can evaluate your physical condition and help you determine which activities are best for you.
Diabetes Canada, “5 Fixes for Dry Winter Skin”: https://www.diabetes.ca/publications-newsletters/diabetes-current-newsletter/diabetes-current-archive/diabetes-current-december-2013/healthy-living/5-fixes-for-dry-winter-skin. Accessed March 7, 2017.
Diabetes Québec, “Physical activity: recommendations for adults”: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/physical-activity/advices/physical-activity-recommendations-for-adults. Accessed May 17, 2017.
Diabetes Québec, “The benefits of physical activity”: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/physical-activity/benefits/the-benefits-of-physical-activity. Accessed May 17, 2017.
Sélection.ca, “7 activités d’hiver pour bouger”: http://selection.readersdigest.ca/sante/vivre-sainement/7-activites-d-hiver-pour-bouger/. Accessed May 24, 2017.