Winter Survival Tips: 2017

Winter Survival Tips

"Of all the major Canadian cities, St. John's is the foggiest, snowiest, wettest, windiest and cloudiest. It also has more days with freezing rain and wet weather than any other city." Environment Canada

No wonder weather is such a hot topic here on the eastern edge of the country! Winter can touch all of those extremes, sometimes in less than 24 hours. Surviving winter is one thing; but embracing it is the challenge! Here is a winter survival blitz of our best tips!

Get the Gear

With our changeable climate, we need the gear to enjoy winter. The old saying "There is no bad weather, just bad gear" is a truism. In case you haven't done so already, stock up on:

  • Warm layers to add/remove as needed.
  • Waterproof outerwear for wet and cold.
  • Snow-pants are not just for children. To enjoy winter, you need a pair.
  • A wardrobe of footwear: warm, waterproof boots with good grips to meet all your social needs
  • Crampons turn serviceable boots into ice-walking machines.
  • Spares of the items easily lost (hats, mittens, scarves).

Move, Move, Move

Despite winter cold and ice, you still need to move every day. Aim for 30-45 minutes of moderate activity. If you can't get outside to walk, snowshoe or ski, find ways to move inside that you love.

  • Join a yoga class or gym.
  • Dust off your stationary bike or treadmill.
  • Get a rebounder: a small, specially sprung trampoline with a hand-bar for support. Just 10 minutes of vigorous activity on this baby is equal to a 30-minute jog. Mine is in the family room across from the TV. I jump a little every day watching the news.

Eat Well

Have you ever gained 5 pounds in winter only to fight to work it off in the spring? On a cold winter evening who doesn't crave mac and cheese, hearty stew, or pot-roast with mashed potato and gravy? To prevent those extra pounds:

  • Savour comfort foods in moderation.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Add balance with healthy food choices.
  • Eat lean protein and a variety of colourful vegetables
  • Limit rich, refined carbohydrates and sweets.
  • Aim for 80% healthy food to 20% richer fare.
  • You will have more energy now and your body will thank you in the spring.

Find the Beauty

Even in the midst of the worst winters, there are beautiful moments. Get outside to watch the ducks at Bowring Park. Take photos of scenes that catch your eye: the trees after a snowfall or glitter storm, your children playing in the snow...

Avoid Colds and Flus

We spend long hours inside in winter. To protect yourself from colds and flus:

  • Wash your hands frequently with plenty of soap and hot/warm water.
  • Train yourself and your children to keep hands away from the face as flu bugs are spread by contact.
  • Cover your mouth with the crook of your elbow or tissues when sneezing or coughing.
  • Wash doorknobs and light switches regularly in your home.
  • If you have a cold, stay home until the worst has passed. No one wants you out in public spreading your winter cold.

Get More Light

We do not get our share of sunlight in winter. Feeling blue is one thing and dealing with SADS (Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome) another. The difference is the degree of dysfunction. A little blue is normal, a full-blown case of SADS is debilitating. If you are feeling down, without energy, find yourself, more withdrawn and depressed, your body may be craving the sun and Vitamin D. Make an effort to enjoy more time in the sun. If that does not work, consider SADS and seek professional help. A special sunlight-lamp may be all that is needed to boost your energy and spirits.

Self Care Helps

Winter is a great time to work on personal health goals. Check out Dr. Laura's Dietary Detox (available Mid January) to re-set your body after the Christmas frenzy. Book a massage to reduce stress and improve sleep. Visit the physio to deal with the back or knee injury that keeps you from your favorite activities. Spring always follows winter and a little self-care now prepares you to make the most of the opportunities that are coming. To book an appointment with our team of pros, contact us here.