Staying active as the seasons change

As the days get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, you may find yourself feeling a bit sluggish and want to stay indoors. During the summer months, when the sun was shining and the days were longer, it was easier to enjoy a brisk walk outdoors or get some exercise while working in the garden. Physical activity is not only important for our physical health, but it also has immense benefits for our mental health. Read on for a few helpful suggestions on how to keep your body moving through the remaining weeks of fall and throughout the winter months.


Make exercise plans with a friend

Research suggests that your peers can help you stay active. Peer-led exercise programs and peer-support programs can help keep you accountable and motivate you to continue to exercise. Whether it be a walk outdoors, a virtual class online, creating a schedule and committing to a plan with a friend can help you stay on track while making you feel like you are part of a community.

Stretch and strengthen with Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates both have many positive benefits to your overall health. They can improve strength, balance and mental wellbeing. They are also generally safe exercises to do from home using digital aids like DVDs, online classes and videos, and mobile apps. Roll out a mat, grab some water and a towel, and make sure you clear some space around you to move. If you’re new to either exercise, remember to start slowly and be mindful of your health status, abilities, and limitations.


Switch up your regular walking routine

Nordic walking is a safe and very effective form of exercise that is particularly well-suited to older adults. There is evidence that this form of walking provides a better total fitness result relative to regular walking and resistance training in healthy older adults, as the use of poles during walking can help build arm and upper back muscles. It can be undertaken in a variety of settings, including urban and outdoor locations and on surfaces such as concrete, grass, or artificial track.



Staying physically active is important for our mental, cognitive, and physical health while at home. Whether it be trying something new, exercising with a friend, or sticking with a routine you know and love, you’ll reap the many benefits that come with being active.


* Engaging in social interactions and activities during the ongoing global pandemic should always be done in line with current public health guidelines. Refer to the Government of Canada website for more information.

Get the latest content first. Sign up for free weekly email alerts.
Author Details

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

Want the latest in aging research? Sign up for our email alerts.

Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

© 2012 - 2020 McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L8 | +1 905-525-9140 | Terms Of Use