Transitioning to Fall/Winter Walking.

The Changing Seasons – how to adapt your exercise routine.


When the weather is warm and sunny ☀️ it makes the idea of getting outside to go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air sound pretty good!


However, as the weather starts to turn, the darkness falls on us a little quicker and the once cool refreshing breeze now sends shivers up your spine…. The idea of heading outdoors for that much needed walk no longer appeals to us in the same way.


So what do we do? We know we need to walk, but goodness…. Do I have to?


Here is what we know.

1) We know that consistency is key… and as much as hibernation sounds wonderful over the winter months…. It’s maybe not the best idea for our health.

2) We know that the outdoors – yes where that cold wind lives – is great for the soul. The simple act of being outside is often enough all on its own to lift our spirits, give us perspective on things we struggle with and reduce stress.


So here is what I recommend.

1) For most of the days to come, make a promise to yourself to keep that walk outside going. Maybe even make it a challenge? How many days over winter can you walk outside?

2) Look to dress for the weather. Wear light layers. You don’t want to be so stuffed under your jacket that your arms can barely swing along your sides… but look to layer up!

  • I like a polyester/blend based 1st It will help keep you warm without getting wet and cold from sweat.
  • Next – a warm insulating layer. Perhaps something fleece. Even a fleece vest would be good to keep that core nice and warm.
  • Finally – a outer wind blocking layer. – This would be your jacket.
  • I like a scarf around my neck and can also be pulled over your nose and mouth to help warm the air a little if you want.
  • A toque on my head to keep the heat in that also covers the ears if possible.
  • And light wind breaking mitts to keep my hands warm.
  • In terms of footwear…. Look for something supportive for walking with good grip when the temperature starts to drop and ice starts to form on the sidewalks. – Some purchase ice & snow grips that go over your shoes that provide extra traction. – Perhaps look to take walking poles as well as extra balance support.


As the snow starts to pile up, look at it as an opportunity  – yes really!! hahaa!! Get out there and do some cross country or downhill skiing, skating and snow shoeing! – There really is nothing like snow shoeing in the bush. The silence the snow brings, and the sight of the snow draping over the trees… it is absolutely magical.


Now, of course we need to balance risk vs reward. If the snow and ice are too treacherous and you are afraid of falling, or the weather is just downright nasty, then look to exercise indoors instead.


Pull up one of our cardio videos that you can follow along with, look to climb up down your stairs for exercise, or of course if you have access to a stationary bike, rowing machine or treadmill at home – you are all set!


Lastly, I want to remind you about STRENGTH TRAINING! As much as we talk about how to keep the aerobic work going during the winter months…. This is such a great opportunity to really focus on your strength work. This includes balance exercises and movements to keep your joints happy and healthy.


Consistency is key. Keeping as much of your routine going over the colder months as possible will allow you to keep progressing forward, it just may mean some adaptations as you go.


Focus on being consistent. Tell yourself, JUST GO!! Just get dressed and go. Before you know it, you will be saying to yourself… I’m happy I went.


Have a great day!!


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Shawna Cook

Shawna is a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine, who has been working in Cardiac Rehabilitation for over 10 years. Her years in the health and fitness field however have spanned over the past 2+ decades. As an elite level athlete she fell in love with understanding the human body, and how the choices she made, affected how it performed. This led to a degree from the University of Winnipeg in the stream of Athletic Therapy, and the passion towards helping others recover from injury and "be their best selves" grew.