Where you live affects the way you live, work, and play. For example, some people in rural areas may spend a lot of time in their vehicles because of the distance between home, work, and services. This may make them sedentary, which means they spend a lot of time sitting.
During Alberta winters, the days get short, it gets cold, and snow starts to pile up. This can make people want to stay inside and not be active until winter is over. Many places in Alberta have winter for 6 months or longer—that’s too long for people to be inactive.
It’s a good idea to try to be more active and encourage your family and friends to do the same.
There might be many good walking trails near your home so you won’t even have to go far to be active.
Show your family there are many great ways to be active even if you live in a rural community. Explore a new trail, walk and pick berries, or go mountain biking. Instead of taking out your ATV, go to a lake or river and try canoeing or kayaking. Are your family or friends up for some fun? Try orienteering, geocaching, or other adventure games.
Try dressing warm and go outside. Check out hard-to-reach places on snowshoes and skis, or go skating outside. Don’t let waiting for ice time at an indoor rink stop you from being active.
If you want to stay inside to be active:
Staying active during the winter is good for your physical and mental health.
Is it hard to find ways and places to be active in your community? Do you get bored walking on straight gravel roads nearby? Contact your municipality and town council about encouraging people to be more active in your community. There are many low-cost ways to help create a community that supports active living for everyone.
Here are a few ideas of things you can do in your community:
Every little bit helps. One person can make a difference. It’s good for your health and others who join you. Be a champion in your community and encourage others to be active with you.
Stuck at home? Move around to your favorite music or get off the couch during commercial breaks and be active.
On the road? Pack your runners and exercise clothes so you can be active in the evenings. Stop for a stretch break every 1 to 2 hours if you’re travelling a long distance. Whenever you stop for fuel, move around. Every bit of activity counts.
It’s never too early or too late to start. Activity is good for any age, any ability, any time of year, anywhere you are.
You don’t need a membership to a recreation complex or fitness centre to stay active and healthy. Use your outdoor space to its fullest. You may be surprised what you’ll discover when you’re walking, cycling, or skiing.
Current as of: October 24, 2018
Author: Chronic Disease Prevention, Alberta Health Services
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