The days are shorter, it’s getting colder outside, the weather is grey, there is a crazy snowstorm outside…it’s super windy outside, you name it! Doesn’t that make you feel like hiding indoors because the weather looks so nasty out there? It is so easy to just let Mother Nature get the best of us but why should we allow it to happen? Why should we depend on weather to be physically active?
There is no such thing as bad weather, only poorly dressed people. That still rings true in my world. We need to remember that the weather is out of our control and we need to learn how to use it to our own advantage or else this will be a long winter.
Let’s take a step back and think about what it is to have an active lifestyle. Having an active lifestyle is more than just spending time at the gym and doing 1h of exercise per day. That will not compensate for sitting all day. Having an active lifestyle is trying to avoid sitting for long periods of time, i.e., getting up every hour for two minutes.
Having an active lifestyle is as much about spending time in the playground as it is spending time at the gym or outdoors training. It’s about limiting our time spent in front of the screen at night and spending time with our friends and family, talking, going for a walk, skiing or snowshoeing to a cabin in the Gatineau Park to eat supper there and come back…it can be anything really, as long as you are not sitting on your laurels, for all I know, you could be washing the dishes. Exercise is only a fraction of what it takes to become physically active. We should not take it for granted though; it does have a place in our life and helps us become better in every aspect of it and in our sporting endeavours.
To come back to playing outside when it is cold…as long as you are properly dressed and properly equipped, that will help you enjoy the outdoors more. Proper running shoes with spikes will make the run or the walk more enjoyable and safer when on slippery and fluffy surfaces and so does snowshoes. If you have the opportunity to have access to skis and hit the trails in the Gatineau Park, go for it! Depending on the trails, you could even be sheltered from the wind. In case that you are not sheltered from the wind I find that a good coat that will shield you from the wind when running is key. I cannot go without my Canada Goose jacket, everyone notices it on the trails. It may be sold out but there are other jewels there.
The other suggestion is to get proper layering for your next outing. It helps a lot! Here are the following clothing and shoes that are at the top of my list: merino wool socks that wick away moisture, my “ice bug” shoes to hit the trails or snowy roads (available to order at Euro-Sports in Chelsea), some good long underwear, mittens (or merino wool socks do work well when you forget your mittens at home, always bring a second pair of socks, you never know what can happen) a scarf and headwear. The key word here is layering. I have even worn ski goggles once in the past to go for a run to avoid getting frostbitten in my face when doing my runs on some of our coldest winters.
What do you do in the winter to stay active? How do you stay warm? Do you enjoy doing winter sports? What do you like doing outdoors for fun in the winter? I am always happy to connect with you guys and give you ideas or direct you to places to get well equipped for the winter in order to stay warm.
Enjoy the outdoors!