Oct 26, 2022 – McMaster University –

As the days get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, you may find yourself feeling a bit sluggish and wanting 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. For adults between the ages of 18 and 65+, the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines suggest a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week and strength/resistance training a minimum of two times a week, amongst other add-ons. Meeting these standards is crucial because not getting adequate physical activity increases the risk of developing chronic diseases and dying.

Need a bit of inspiration to get moving? Read on for a few helpful suggestions on staying active through the remaining weeks of fall and throughout the winter months.

 Find an exercise buddy

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 or 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 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. Using poles during walking can help build arm and upper back muscles. It can be undertaken in various settings, including urban and outdoor locations and on concrete, grass, or artificial track surfaces.

Use your smartphone to help motivate you

Do you want to up your exercise game? Your smartphone can help! Research shows that gamified apps may help increase physical activity levels, especially those with leaderboards that allow app users to see each other’s standing and integrate social networking and rewards.

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