4 easy ways to move more this winter

A smiling person wearing winter clothing, including a hat and mittens, makes a snow angel. Does it seem like you are living a Groundhog Day scenario? This might sound familiar: you wake up, shuffle from your bed to your workstation, stare at the screen for eight hours, raid the fridge, and end your day by beelining to the couch where you binge watch TV until it’s time to go back to bed. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Not only does every day seem the same, but we’re also entering the thick of winter, which can feel isolating. And we are still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re struggling with all of this, it’s understandable. When we feel down, we tend to neglect our basic needs and self-care.

The good news is you don’t need to make a radical change to start feeling better immediately. There are easy ways that you can shake up your routine.

Amplify what you’re already doing
The first step is to find ways to move more throughout your day. You might be thinking, “I don’t have time to get to the gym” or, “money is tight, I can’t afford to sign up for anything” or, “I don’t have anyone to go with.” Rest assured that adding more movement to your day doesn’t mean adding another task on your never-ending to-do list.

Find opportunities that work with your lifestyle. That means adding more everyday movement wherever you can. Things like tidying the house, playing with your kids, taking your dog out for a walk, shovelling snow, walking or wheeling to the mailbox instead of driving – every move you make adds up.

Make it fun
In whatever ways you’re already moving, keep doing it and try doing a bit more of it than the day before. Put some tunes on and have a dance-off with your kids after the dishes or call up a friend to go for a walk or wheel around the block. You will feel better for doing it and it gives you an opportunity to connect with loved ones in a safe way.

Schedule it!
Since many of us work sedentary jobs, spot opportunities to move throughout your workday. For example, set a timer on your phone and move around every 30 minutes. Go to the kitchen and fill your glass of water several times a day. Have a stretch break with colleagues. Try a standing desk, there are tons of affordable options online. For your next virtual meeting, patch in with your phone and go for a walk in your neighbourhood.

Involve others
You can encourage your kids or grandkids to get involved in moving more too. Every year, Recreation Nova Scotia hosts a family friendly winter active challenge called Take the Roof Off Winter. It’s an opportunity to get outdoors, make new memories and have the chance to win some cool prizes.

For more ideas on adding more movement to your day, be sure to check out Make Your Move, a public awareness campaign by the Healthy Tomorrow Foundation. It has lots of great ideas and inspiration to get you started, including profiles of everyday Nova Scotians making their move.

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