Happy New Year from the Livewell Baden and Kitchener Physiotherapy family to yours! With this New Year comes new hope, chances, adventures, changes, and challenges. We know that one of the main challenges our clients have faced this season is trying to stay active and motivated during this pandemic. We’re here to remind you that, although these struggles are okay and not something to beat yourself up about, there are some ways to get your motivation back and get back to physical activity. With Winter right around the corner, we thought it would be helpful to give you some ideas for starting, increasing, or maintaining your fitness journey during the colder months.
#1: Outdoor Winter Activities
It may be tempting to let the colder temperatures keep you inside, particularly during a pandemic, but it is so important to get some safe outdoor time. Fight against seasonal tendencies to avoid the outdoors for the benefit of your body both physically and mentally. Getting your daily dose of sunlight boosts your Vitamin D levels which has tons of amazing health benefits including the improvement of immune functions and calcium absorption. On top of these perks, getting active while outside also helps get your blood flowing, raises your serotonin levels, and provides your organs with the nutrients and energy to keep you happy and healthy. There are plenty of ways to get outside and active without breaking physical distancing guidelines, we recommend Winter hikes, walks, or runs as well as sledding, or even just playing in the snow.
#2: Outdoor Winter Sports
You can also kick it up a notch by doing some fun outdoor sports this Winter. If you find yourself becoming bored, unproductive, doing the same routine day in and day out, or mindlessly scrolling on social media to kill some time, get up and outside to try a new sport! Hear us out: if there was ever a time to try a new sport, it’s during a pandemic that has given most of us a lot more time at home. Outdoor sports are a great way to warm up tight muscles that are common due to this time of year’s colder temperatures. Of course, you should always make sure you take any necessary precautions and have the correct equipment before trying a new sport to avoid the risk of injuries. Always drink plenty of water then do some stretches and a warmup before and after physical activity in order to keep your body stays warm, loose, safe, and in good condition so that you do not have any muscle tears and strains. Again, there are plenty of solo sports or family sports that you can try this year including skiing, skating, snowshoeing, and ski biking.
#3: Workout Instructional Videos
Even though getting outside is important, sometimes the wintery conditions just won’t allow it. In these cases, or if you just feel safer doing your fitness routine at home, there are tons of free instructional videos and classes you can sign up for. Many indoor gyms and studios have had to close their doors due to the pandemic and are now making the switch to virtual classes and videos. There are hours upon hours of credible companies sharing their instructors on social media or their websites so that you can follow along and remain active at home. You can find exactly the type of exercise you are looking for plus many more fun options to keep things interesting. If you want to move beyond instructional videos that require no equipment, you can also make the decision to purchase some of your own home gym equipment. Even just some dumbbells and tension bands will do the trick! Or you can also, like so many people during this pandemic, purchase a machine like a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike to stay on top of your Winter fitness routines.
#4: Family Fun
We know gym workouts and designated fitness routines are not for everyone so do not feel any pressure to create one if it does not work with your current lifestyle. Remember that trying to stay active while the world continues to change every single day can be a difficult thing to adapt to. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do or don’t enjoy doing, try to trick yourself into getting some exercise by mixing it with family time or everyday activities you are already doing. Throw on some music for a dance party, play tag, do some household organizing, or hold a family competition to get moving without having to set aside any designated fitness time each day. Getting your loved ones involved, even if virtually, is a great way to hold yourself accountable and turn exercise into something you can actually look forward to.
We hope this blog helped you feel a little bit better about your physical activity levels right now. Remember that, although getting outside and exercising is crucial for your physical and mental health, these are unprecedented times and we all just doing the best we can. We have plenty of Physiotherapy Services (in Kitchener and Baden) to help you achieve the highest quality of life possible this year – contact our team with any questions you have!
Want more lifestyle advice on how to improve your overall health and wellness? Contact our Livewell Health and Physiotherapy Kitchener or Baden teams to get more information and book your next appointment. You can also reach out to us by email or social media and one of our team members would be more than happy to answer any of your questions! All of our practitioners have more tips and expert guidance to help improve the overall quality of your life.