Well, isn’t that a dramatic title, hey?
It was -27C (-17F) yesterday. I’m allowed.
I know that although it might not get quite so cold in most parts of North America (and a lot colder in others…hey, we’ve had our share of -50C days), they are dealing with a pretty serious winter for them, which is why I wanted to address staying active when all you really want to do is curl up under 98 blankets.
Don’t try and work out outside! I know what you’re thinking. Emma, you just said you were going to help us stay fit in the cold! Yes, but that doesn’t mean you actually have to exercise in it. Because let’s be honest, here. It’s hard enough to motivate ourselves to work out in a temperature-controlled gym with liquids and aid easily available. Throw in hair-freezing temperatures and skin-destroying wind and the prospect of exercise just got a lot less inviting.
So do yourself a favour: Set yourself up with a couple of dumbbells and a yoga mat, and work out in the comfort of your own home. Get a gym membership. Have JustDance dates at a friends’ house! Try yoga classes. There are infinite possibilities!
And do something fun! I was an alpine ski racer for eleven years, as you know, and spent hours in a downhill suit in -30 degree weather. Was I cold sometimes? You can freaking bet. But my love for the sport made it more than worth the discomfort, and I loved every minute I spent out on the slopes. So whether its skiing, skating, sledding or (gasp) snowboarding, find something you genuinely enjoy doing and you’ll be less bitter about the cold. Health is not just about physical fitness! It’s extremely important to keep yourself mentally sane as well, which can be hard to do with a brain freeze. 😉
Get fresh air. There’s a ~10 minute walk that I do to/from school every day in addition to my bus route. There is another one I could take that wouldn’t have me walk, but then I literally sit on my butt 17 hours a day. When it’s freezing, try getting outside for just a few minutes a couple of times a day! This, along with the above, really serve to keep you mentally clear. Stuffy rooms = stuffy brains!
If you really want to be a polar bear…Props to you. But be smart. I ran once in -15C (5F) and that literally did me in for life. But there’s a guy that comes into the coffee shop I work at that runs in the evenings 4-5 times per week. But he has grips for his shoes, a total face mask, and wears 3+ layers. Don’t be dumb (me) and think that a mesh long-sleeve, cotton leggings and a pair of thin cotton gloves will be enough.
And have an incentive! I’m planning on bribing myself to go on long runs with a latte and a muffin. You can plan a bubble bath, a treat, or even just some time to yourself!
Do you find it hard to stay healthy in the winter?