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Tips to embrace the winter weather

19 January 2017

It’s way too easy to spend the winter huddled under a pile of blankets, binge-watching your favourite TV show, but did you ever consider the effect this might be having on your health?

Instead of hiding out inside until warmer weather appears, embrace the winter by trying out these activities to keep you warm – and healthy!

  • Send kids on an ice cube scavenger hunt. Start by freezing two trays of coloured ice cubes (use food colouring – you’ll need four different colours). Hide the ice cubes in your backyard or a park area and assign each colour a different point value. Split your group into two teams and start the scavenger hunt. Whenever someone finds an ice cube they can put it into a pile at their “home base” – and whichever team gets the most points wins! (Credit: PartcipACTION)
  • Get your kids to “paint” your backyard or a nearby park. Fill some spray bottles with warm water tinted with food colouring and start painting – snow makes the perfect blank canvas! (Credit: ParticipACTION)
  • Grab your friends and head to an indoor or outdoor skating rink. Or check and see if you have any skating trails in your area. These frozen walking trails are great if you want to skate a longer distance!
  • Visit your favourite summer hiking trail on snowshoes. You’ll be surprised how different the trail looks when it’s under a blanket of snow.

Don’t forget to practise sun safety in the winter, too. If you’re out in the snow, make sure you’re wearing sunscreen and sunglasses! Whatever the weather or season, UV rays can pass through clouds, haze, fog or mist. The sun’s rays reflect off the bright surface of the snow in winter, just like they reflect off sand and water in the summer. Reflection off the snow can nearly double the strength of UV rays – and exposed skin can burn more easily on a sunny winter day than on a sunny summer day.

And for those days when it’s just too cold or snowy to brave the outdoors, get active indoors instead.

  • Turn your home into an exercise circuit! Do push-ups in the living room, wall sits in the hallway and crunches in your bedroom. Time yourself to see how quickly you can make it around a circuit.
  • Stand up in between shows during Netflix marathons and stretch or take a walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water.
  • Pick an exercise or instructional dance video and invite your kids, family or friends to join you!
Research shows that regular physical activity over your lifetime can protect you against cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day, even in the winter, and you’ll be protecting yourself for life!