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Staying active in the winter months

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Winter has well and truly settled in and the cold weather may have put a dampener on your motivation to stay active. We recently caught up with our health team leader Larissa Cuff to get some tips about how to counter the impulse to stay inside and on the couch when it’s cold.

Let’s face it – winter can be hard. It’s cold, damp and dark and it’s very easy to lose the enthusiasm to go outside for a walk. On top of that, we may also crave comfort foods that can be less nutritious and leave us feeling lethargic.

Tips to get moving in winter

The important thing about starting or getting back into any form of physical activity is to not beat yourself up about it. A good place to start, and a tip we always recommend for our Green Prescription clients, is to plan to do little things that make you feel good and increase your motivation and desire to do more.

Local walking groups are a great way to stay active and socially connected in winter

Some very simple and achievable activities that can get you moving include parking a bit further from the shops or work so you can 'sneak in' a walk, doing some sit-stands or squats during the TV ads breaks or borrowing a friend's or neighbour's dog and heading out to the local park. Or if you’re planning on meeting a friend at a café, why not combine that catch-up with a walk or ride and a coffee? Staying connected with friends and family can be invaluable for lifting your mood and motivation.

Variety is also really important, so be sure to mix it up and try a range of activities that you enjoy and that will keep you interested and motivated throughout those long winter months.

Why move?

We’ve all probably experienced the grind of a long winter and its impacts on our physical and mental wellbeing. The great news is there’s plenty of research these days that shows the positive impact that physical activity can have on our mental wellbeing. And that doesn’t mean running miles and miles each week – it really can be as simple as throwing a ball around a park with the kids.

So, if you’re struggling to stay active this winter, start simple and small, and be kind to yourself so you have a spring in your step as the weather warms up.

Resources

Sport Bay of Plenty has a number of resources and programmes to help people get active.

Free activity directory

Visit our Get Involved Directory to find community recreation and sport providers in your local area.

Healthy lifestyle support programmes

Ask your GP or practice nurse about the six-month healthy lifestyle programme for adults called Green Prescription or the free Active Families programme for families with children aged 4.5 to 18 years'.

Classes for older adults

If you’re an older adult, then be sure to check out the Keep on Your Feet strength and balance classes across the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty.

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