Beat those winter blues! Four ways to stay active, both body and mind

Winter months mean shorter days and more inclement weather. This can make going outside less appealing and can lead to ‘cabin fever’. It is important to stay active and engaged in order to keep your mind and body healthy.

Here are four things you can do this winter to stay active. Your mind and body will thank you!

Take a class at your local library

Public libraries often host events where people can meet authors and discover local emerging artists. They may also offer classes (for example, language, cooking or computer), workshops and lectures. Having a library card is not just having access to a library collection, it may mean having access to a community hub where you can quench your thirst for knowledge, make social connections, and get the help you need!

Get active in the community

Volunteering promotes a sense of accomplishment, breaks isolation, improves physical and psychological health, and reduces some of the negative stereotypes associated with aging. Consider volunteering within your community to stay healthy, meet new people and share your knowledge.

Let your creativity shine

Many people see retirement as an opportunity to finally get back to their artistic passions. Whether it be wood carving, creative writing, knitting, photography, piano, painting, tango, theatre, the possibilities for creative expression are endless. Research has found that taking part in artistic activities has positive effects on the health and well-being of older adults, including their memory, level of creativity, ability to solve problems, ability to carry out daily activities, and reaction time.

Get moving

During the winter months, snow and slush may make outdoor conditions unsafe. Visit the pool or walking track at your local ‘Y’ or sports/recreation centre and you’re bound to see adults of all ages stretching, running, lunging, weight training, and swimming! Aquatic exercise – including swimming, water-based resistance training or water aerobics – is popular among people who want a low impact workout. For older adults it can be a great option to stay active while having fun. If you prefer to stay out of the pool, walking provides many health benefits. Consider listening to music while you walk to improve walking speed, stride length, and walk rhythm. 

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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website

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