ACTIVE LIFE: Mix up activities to chase away winter blues

NANAIMO – Parks and recreation offers variety of programs during winter months.

By Tammy Toor

Going for long, vigorous walks is one of my favourite things to do. I try to incorporate power walking in my everyday activities, including walking home from work, walking at lunch or even walking to the store to pick up that item needed. I have to admit, when the time changes making the days seem shorter and the colder, wetter weather comes, it can be challenging for me to motivate myself to keep as active as I do other times of the year.

I have learned that although it may be tough to convince myself to stick to that fitness plan I did so faithfully during the spring and summer months, fall and winter can actually be a great time to mix up my workouts, get creative and even try some new activities that will keep me healthy and chase away those winter blues. Here are a few tips that have helped me:

Change my perspective – Instead of coming up with excuses not to exercise, I try to remember how important it is and how good I always feel afterward. It keeps me healthy – physically and emotionally, and I am trying to set a good example for my family.

Try something new – Parks, Recreation and Environment has programs for every age and ability. Try a new yoga or other fitness class. I have recently started incorporating some boot camp-style exercises into my routine and I am loving it.

Get creative at home – Going outside or to the gym can be inconvenient, but you can always do a workout at home. Invest in a few pieces of fitness equipment, like hand weights or fitness bands, and you are set. Try doing some pushups or situps during the commercial breaks of your favourite TV show.

Buddy up – If you can’t seem to muster the energy to work out by yourself, make a commitment with either a friend, family member or even the family dog. You’re a lot more likely to follow through on your workout commitments when you know that others will be with you.

Looking for some ways to stay active? Check out the Fall and Winter Activity Guide or visit www.nanaimo.ca for ideas to keep you and your family moving and healthy this season.

Tammy Toor is a communications specialist with Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment.