Tips for staying active in winter
Monday, May 3, 2021
Written by Larissa Cuff - Sport Bay of Plenty health team leader
It's natural to want to retreat inside away from the cold and damp as winter approaches, but staying active is really important for our physical and mental wellbeing. We recently caught up with Sport Bay of Plenty's Health Team Leader Larissa Cuff to discuss why and how to keep active as the weather turns cold.
Why is it good to stay active over the colder months?
Physical activity has loads of mood-boosting benefits which can really help us ride out the gloomy winter months. Going for a ride, a walk or to a gym class with others can also ensure you stay socially connected and combat some of the isolation that easily creeps in when there's less daylight hours and we want to retreat inside.
How do I stay motivated to keep moving?
The key thing to keep yourself moving is to do little things often. Shorter daylight hours can be demotivating if you're used to exercising early or late in the day, so doing smaller, achievable activities more often can be a rewarding way to make sure you remain active. A 10 minute walk, taking the kids to the park or challenging your workmates to ride to work can all be great ways to 'sneak in' some physical activity into your day.
What are some great ways for people to stay active over winter?
Although it's becoming colder outside, witnessing the change of season by going for walk by the beach, in the forest or at a local park can be a really rewarding and calming experience. The Bay of Plenty has loads of great natural places to explore that are stunning in the cooler months. Some of my favourites include:
Rotorua's forests and lakes
Whakarewarewa Forest is a great place to explore in winter, by bike or on foot, as there's plenty of shelter under the tree canopy and trails catering for all fitness levels. The volcanic lakes dotted around Rotorua also provide a plethora of walks and scenic outlooks on crisp days.
Toi's track in Whakatāne
Whether you're after a short or long walk, Toi's Track above Whakatāne township offers a smorgasbord of trails meandering through forest, across spectacular pā sites and down to some of the best beaches in the Bay. The bonus of any trip to Whakatāne is that the Eastern Bay town repeatedly tops the list for recording the most sunshine hours in New Zealand.
McLaren Falls in Tauranga
With loads of open fields, picnic spots and well-formed trails, McLaren Falls on the edge of Tauranga is the perfect day-trip for the family. Pack some snacks and a frisbee and you're all set for a game of frisbee golf on the free course laid out around the park.
Local aquatic centres
It may sound counter-intuitive, but heading to your local indoor pool can be a great place to be active during winter. Indoor aquatic centres keep their water temperatures consistent and many aquatic centres across the Bay offer saunas and gyms connected to the facility.
Do something new (and active), New Zealand!
Not sure where to start? Check out our online Get Involved activity directory and try a new sport or recreation class. The directory includes contact details for everything from rugby to yoga, and cover activities across the entire Bay of Plenty.
Or ... make the most of what's at home
If venturing outdoors isn't your thing, then there has been an explosion of free online workouts in the last 12 months that can be done from your loungeroom. Sport Bay of Plenty has also put together loads of home activity resources for all ages.
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