A healthy body is a healthy mind. That quote should be true winter, spring, summer and fall. Let’s face it though, freezing temperatures and slippery roads make it pretty challenging to work up the courage to get moving to enjoy a daily dose of fresh air and exercise. Winter sports require more preparation, planning and equipment, making it harder to just lace up your running shoes and go! Therefore, winter activities are often less spontaneous. The good news is that a few simple tips can make winter sports enjoyable AND comfortable.
Dress for the Weather: It’s the Best Way to Enjoy Winter Sports
Whether you love skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, fat biking or simply going on long walks around your neighbourhood, choosing the right clothes makes a world of difference. Taking a multi-layer approach when dressing up in winter is definitely the way to go! Synthetic fibres and wool are must-haves. What should you avoid? Cotton! At all costs! It locks moisture in and you would be freezing in no time!
Basic Layering to Stay Warm
The base layer, worn directly against your skin, should wick moisture away and dry fast. This is what your mom commonly referred to as long johns. The mid layer should keep you warm but also be moisture wicking. Fleece pullovers are a great example and so are thin down coats. The outer layer is what protects you from the elements: rain, snow and wind. Of course, it has to let sweat vapour escape. A soft shell jacket is a good place to start.
The Right Clothes for Each Activity
The greatest advantage of using a layering system is that it is highly versatile. It allows you to remove or add a layer so you never get too hot or too cold. Getting your heart rate up with an intense cross-country skiing outing? Go for thin layers and lighter clothes. You prefer rushing down the slopes on your snowboard? You will need more insulation to stay warm. In any case, the clothes you select should allow you to move freely.
Keep Frostbite Away
Of course, make sure you buy quality gloves, mittens, hats and socks for extra warmth. There is no use in having all the right clothes if your feet or hands are frozen. You would inevitably get cold and start shivering.
Eat, Drink and Have Fun
We have good news for foodies! When you practise winter sports, it’s essential to stay well hydrated and eat, eat and eat. A shot of Irish cream won’t make you warmer though. Keep that for your après-ski beverage as alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate and contributes to heat loss. Water, sports drinks or kombucha along with tea and soups are better choices. Eat a healthy and high carb snack every 30 minutes (don’t you love that advice!). Don’t forget the bonus after your winter workout: hot chocolate!
Respect Your Limits and Check the Weather
Practising winter sports requires a good deal of perseverance and motivation. Might as well pick an activity you love! Heading out in North Pole weather to stay active won’t happen if you don’t enjoy the sport you chose. Respect your limits, you don’t have to be competitive to get a work out. If you love snowshoeing while contemplating nature, go for it. If competing in an endurance race is your thing, that’s awesome too! Remember to check the weather forecast and adjust the length of your outings. You can get frostbite in as little as 10 minutes when your skin that is exposed to temperatures of—25° and below.
After Playing in the Snow, Your Body Deserves Some TLC
After spending time outdoors in winter, reward your body with a well deserved pampering session. For sore muscles or for skin damaged by the harsh weather, use body care products with plant-based oils. They are like magic potions for your body. Try the muscle cream and moisturizers from CHANV. They are made with hemp oil, which is rich in omega-3 and omega-6. Lastly, don’t forget to apply lip balm to that great smile of yours to keep chapped lips at bay. Taking care of your body … is there a better way to end a fun and active winter day?