How to stay active during the winter season

A photo of someone running on snowy ground CREDIT: YURAN-78
Staying active can be especially hard when it's cold outside, but don't give up and keep striving for your fitness goals.

The winter season can be quite the adjustment to our everyday routines, especially for international students. Between the dark mornings and braving the wind chill when you step outside, keeping active can be quite a daunting task for some of us. This article features some of the ways that I get through the winter season as well as Western University student Kathleen Hon’s experiences during the four coldest months of the year in London.

During the summer months, motivation can be more present as the sun wakes you up in the morning, enticing many of us to take full advantage of the warm weather. Although some activities might be restricted due to the winter, there are ways to keep our physical and mental health in good condition.

As a fairly new international student myself, these are some tips that helped me stay active through my first winter:

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1. Creating a weekly timetable to see what time works best for extracurricular activities is a good step to identify what activities you can engage in.

2. Find out if there is an indoor gym facility at your residence.

3. Get involved with the Fanshawe Fitness Centre at the London campus. Personally, I take full advantage of this student perk! There are group classes that are 100 per cent worth checking out and signing up for classes holds me accountable to attending.

4. Brave the cold and go for a walk through your neighborhood. I can attest to this being a difficult task when it’s -40 degrees outside. However, if you set an incentive such as grabbing your favourite drink at a coffee shop at the end of the walk, it can be worth it! Even better if you have a friend that can help motivate you.

5. Take workout classes online. Sometimes it can be difficult to leave home during the winter, and on those days, we are lucky that we can access workouts online. I turn to YouTube workouts whenever I find myself at home on a day that I should be working out.

Whilst I’m still a newcomer to the city, Hon has been in London for four and a half years, studying at Western University. After being here for a lengthy time, Hon acknowledged that she still finds it challenging to stay active during the winter months. That said, Hon shared that doing fun activities such as winter festivals and skiing are good ways to embrace the winter season.

Hon expressed that spending time with friends during the colder months can help to stay active.

“[Find] friends who share the same feeling and come up with ways together to do something active and motivate each other,” Hon said.

If you’re nervous about staying active during the upcoming months, use the above tips to help motivate you and increase your engagement in activities during your time at college. Keeping active has positive effects on the body both physically and mentally, so make it an important part of daily life to prioritize.

Staying active can be especially hard when it’s cold outside, but don’t give up and keep striving for your fitness goals.