Winter has definitely arrived! The cold is settling over Manitoba, and the bears are getting ready to hibernate. Although you may be tempted to settle into an easy chair and hibernate too, inactivity can be harmful. The recommendations are the same in winter and summer: 90 minutes of physical activity per day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults. What’s the secret of success? Planning and organization.
If you enjoy walking or running, start by making a plan! Suitable clothing, non-slip footwear, hand warmers, reflective tape, etc. You just need the right gear! You may end up preferring going out in the cold! There are several beautiful places to skate, ski or toboggan in Manitoba, many of which are close to home.
There are also places to stay active for those who are worried about falling or whose respiratory symptoms are aggravated by cold weather. If you are at risk of fractures or have limited mobility, you can stay inside. Why not get a membership at a gym or go for regular walks at the mall? Also, keep in mind that many community groups offer free or low-cost activities: Zumba, aqua gym, yoga, etc.
Given the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, it is especially important for children to be physically active at least 90 minutes a day. But proper organization and planning are important. First, you need to have the right clothing for the weather. Take the opportunity to play with your kids! Mother Nature provides the fairy dust that lets us be creative! And remember, children are the world’s best imitators. If you’re active, they’ll imitate you.
In extremely cold weather, arenas, pools and community centres offer periods of free play, at little cost. Print the schedules, and plan your family outings.
Finally, whatever your age or favourite physical activity, staying active will make winter fly by, and you’ll be in better shape when spring comes around!