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Updated: Apr 24, 2021

Posted on January 1st, 2021. Authors: Lyndsay Lang, BSN; reviewed by Dahlia Abou El Hassan, MScFN, RD

COVID-19 has changed the way we exercise. From workout classes being cancelled to gyms being closed and other tight restrictions, getting enough physical activity can be challenging. It’s especially important in times like these that we exercise to help reduce stress levels, improve energy and boost mood. Here are three ways you can stay active at home this winter to improve your mental wellbeing and overall make you feel good.

1) Get Outdoors

Being outside can help to lower stress levels, improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Go for a walk, a jog or maybe even a fun winter activity like outdoor skating or tobogganing with the kids.

Before exercising in the cold weather, its important you take precautions to be safe in the cold weather:

  • Wear layers including a hat and gloves to keep your body warm

  • Perform light active stretches prior to exercise, such as arm circles or lunges to prevent muscle injuries

  • Check the forecast before heading out. Strong winds? Ice accumulation? Opt for an indoor workout instead

2)Try a Virtual at Home Workout

A virtual workout is another great option to stay active this winter. There are various workout

videos on sites like YouTube to choose from, such as aerobics, Pilates or yoga. You can also

check out your local gyms to see if they provide virtual classes on platforms like Facebook live or Zoom.

Before starting any workout be sure to stay safe and avoid injury:

  • Don't try anything new, only participate in exercises you are comfortable with legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans)

  • Do your research! When using sites like YouTube, make sure you only take advice from certified personal trainers and exercise professionals

3) Get Creative with Home Equipment

Using at-home equipment such as a stationary bike, elliptical or treadmill is an easy way to stay active, however you don’t need a full at-home gym to get an effective workout. Take all the time you are spending at home this winter to get creative!

HNo equipment? Try these household items:

  • Walk up and down the staircase to get in your steps for the day

  • Try using a chair to perform squats

  • Check the pantry for soup cans or water jugs to use instead of dumbbells

In conclusion, physical activity is crucial for good mental health which is especially important when dealing with stress and anxiety. There are many different ways you can exercise at home this winter, just remember to take the necessary precautions to stay safe while doing it.

How are you planning to stay active this winter?

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