Stay active during the cold winter months

Provincial government provides 10 ways to keep active this season.

Despite the urge to curl up indoors on such cold winter days, British Columbians are being urged to stay active.

“As an elite athlete, I understand that the dark and cold winter months can take their toll on our motivation to stay active,” said parliamentary secretary for healthy living, Michelle Stilwell.

“It is tempting to stay inside and curl up, but there are plenty of things we can do indoors and out to get the recommended amount of daily activity and keep feeling our best.”

Here are 10 ways to keep active this season.

1. Set small, achievable goals, such as running on the spot during the commercials of your favourite TV show or committing to walking 20 minutes a day. Whatever it is, the sooner you commit to it, the sooner you will feel the benefits.

2. Create an activity calendar for a month, with daily goals – such as going for a swim or playing a game of tag. If you have kids, ask them to help create the goals.

3. Keep it simple and just go for a short walk. It doesn’t have to be outdoors – find a local community centre with a running track, pop into a mall, or walk around your office building with co-workers. Any opportunity to rack up the recommended 10,000 steps a day is a good one.

4. Visiting a friend out of town?

Pack your workout gear and make a point of joining them at their gym/workout class.

5. Embrace the cold and snow. Make a day of it or just take an hour. Bundle up and go tobogganing, build a snowman, try snowshoeing or hit the mountains to go skiing.

6. Involve the kids. Children need between 60 and 180 minutes of physical activity a day, so try joining them for a game in the backyard. Enjoy a family walk after dinner to check out the holiday decorations in your neighbourhood.

7. Get the whole family together and have a dance party. Crank the tunes and have fun while you do the dishes.

8. Use the Internet. While more screen time is not usually associated with active living, you can use it to learn the basics of a new dance, yoga or tai chi to find out if you like it before committing to formal instruction or classes.

9. Check out your local parks and recreation centre. They have activities to suit all ages, budgets and schedules – allowing you to be active and meet new people.

10. Looking for more? Call the Physical Activity Line 1-877-725-1149, a free phone line and online resource for credible physical activity and healthy living information.

“Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week in sessions of 10 minutes or more,” said Stilwell.

“That’s just over 20 minutes a day. It doesn’t sound like much, but those 20 minutes can help reduce the risk of premature death, heart disease and stroke among other health benefits, and be fun.”

Through the Healthy Families B.C. framework, government continues to focus on keeping British Columbians healthy by addressing health prevention issues such as chronic disease, unhealthy eating and tobacco use.

For more information and tips on how to stay active visit: