Seasonal Tips: Stay Active this Winter

Vancouver had a beautiful autumn this year, but winter is fast approaching. While it’s tempting to stay in by the fireplace and munch on your favorite snacks, don’t give up on exercising just because it’s chilly outside!

The UBC campus offers plenty of ways to keep active and stay fit despite the cold, so come the new year, that’s one less thing to add to your resolutions.

Change Up Your Routine

Staying motivated to hit the gym when it’s dark after 5pm can be tough, but adjusting your schedule to keep that fitness in is worth it. Try waking up earlier and work out in the morning, so in the evening when you’ve settled on the couch you’ll have gotten your daily exercise out of the way. Working out in the morning is also a great way to start the day, and the winter air can help you stay awake, invigorated, and ready to start those early morning classes with ease.

Explore New Activities

While the obvious way to exercise in the winter is to go to the gym, don’t be afraid to try some winter activities! Ice skating at the Doug Mitchel Thunderbird Sports Centre is free for all students and faculty with a UBC card, so feel free to bring a friend or two and get into the holiday spirit! Swimming continues year round and is also free for UBC affiliates. Take a lap around the pools and then bask in the sauna or hot tub to forget about the cold outside. UBC Recreation also offers free one-hour weekly themed walks around campus, whatever the weather, which are hosted by the Move U Crew. Get a little step in your day when you don’t have time to do any fitness before or after work, while learning about new places on campus.

Any Movement Counts

Have classes on the third floor? Climb the stairs! Live 15 minutes away from campus? Walk or bike to school! Do some bicep curls while you memorize those pesky chemical formulas, using simple everyday items such as milk jugs or textbooks. Absorb the sunshine in these winter months by taking a jog around your neighborhood. Rake those leaves out of your driveway, and when the snow hits, shovel shovel shovel! Disguise your chores as a chance to be active. The MoveU Crew also offers movement breaks, so if you’re in class wishing you could use that time to exercise, they’ve got you covered! Take any chance you get to put some fitness into your day, because every little bit counts.

Don’t Forget to Layer Up!

Last but not least, remember to bundle up! Insulate your body with lots of layers of clothing to brace yourself against the elements. For the first layer, wear sportswear so if it gets wet from rain or snow, it will keep the moisture away from your skin. Then add fleece or a sweater, and finally, a thin waterproof layer such as a jacket. In these darker months, sport reflective material if you are exercising past daylight hours. While it’s important to exercise, a little preparation to keep you protected and healthy goes a long way! Keep hydrated, wear layers, and stay safe!