A new year, a new way of thinking – that’s the core intention behind the New Year’s Resolution. It’s a personal commitment to enact some positive change in your life, saying goodbye to old patterns and embracing a new challenge. Statistics show that targeting self-improvement through healthier eating, getting fit and saying goodbye to habits like smoking that negatively affect health annually top the list of New Year’s resolutions. The fact is, healthy living is within your reach if you just take steps in the right direction. At the Canadian Wildlife Federation, we recommend one simple step: we want you to get outdoors. Step outside. Breathe in the air. Feel the cool breeze. Take a walk. Ski. Skate. Explore nature. There are lots of ways to enjoy our wild spaces when temperatures drop below zero. Experience the wonders of Canada in the winter time as you start your journey to better health. Let Mother Nature be the encouraging voice to help you stick to your resolution. Below are some other inspiring tips.
Make the pledge
This year, resolve to:
Live a little leaner
According to Health Canada guidelines, one in four Canadians are obese. It’s not just holiday feasts causing the problem, it’s a lifestyle issue. Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to have immediate impact on your physical health. Take a walk for example. A 160-pound person walking at a quick pace of 3.5 mph can easily burn 277 calories an hour. If you want to step it up a notch, hit the trails; hiking will burn 438 calories per hour. As an incentive to get outside, why not track the wildlife you see using our iNaturalist app.
Motivate your children to be active.
Only 7 percent of Canadian youth and children meet their daily physical activity requirements. The result: record rates of children with asthma, obesity and ADHD. Lead by example! This winter, try snowshoeing, skiing or searching for wildlife tracks in the snow . A great way to encourage your children to enjoy natural experiences is through our Wild Family Nature Club program .
Love yourself a little more
One U.K. study found that when people got out into the fresh air and enjoyed green spaces during exercise, 60 percent of them felt more confident during the first five minutes of their workout. That confidence lasted the entire duration of their sweat-a-thon. People who exercised outdoors also have a lower risk of poor mental health!
Keep your cool when deadlines loom
Stressed out at work? A University of Essex study found that doing physical activity outside can drive down tension, anger and anxiety. Try to do more of your regular activity outside. Step out during your lunch break. Go for a walk. Get out of the office and hold a “moving meeting” while walking with your co-worker. When all else fails, we recommend you try gardening to ease the stress .
Heart your heart
Between the vitamin D you get from the sun’s rays and the benefits you get by walking outside, you can lower bad cholesterol, amp up good cholesterol, keep your blood pressure in check and potentially reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by as much as 50%. Moreover, a study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that women who walked for two or more hours a week or women who had a quick pace had lower risk of stroke than women who were sedentary and walked at a slower pace. If you need something to inspire you to get outside, bring a camera.
Give the Energizer Bunny a run for its money
Getting outside during the day can help to reset your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock that tells it to wake and sleep according to the rising and setting of the sun), helping to keep your energy up.
Join a club.
Studies show healthy friendships make for a healthier life. In fact, in one study doctors gave 83 college students an influenza vaccine and found that those with larger social networks produced more flu-fighting antibodies than those who hung out in small groups. Joining a club is a great way to counteract stress, to develop new friendships and perhaps gain new interests. It could even be a WILD Family Nature Club!
Ten Winter Tips To Keep You
On The Highway To Health:
Get a flu shot. More than 100 viruses can cause colds, the world's most common illness, so few people escape being exposed to at least one of them. Getting a flu shot can help ensure you stay cold-free!
Use hand sanitizer. Washing helps keep away bacteria and viruses
Catch up on your sleep. Weary bodies are more susceptible to illness
Take a multivitamin or supplement. Help balance your diet with proper nutrition
Exercise. There’s no end to the benefits of tuning up your body.
Watch your diet. Be calorie wise and eat a balanced diet.
Protect your skin. Winter sun is just as damaging as summer sun.
Reduce stress levels. Stress can lead to other poor lifestyle choices. Step away from the computer, the TV and the devices and get back to nature.
Stay hydrated. Water is your friend!
Dress warm! Avoid frostbite and hypothermia by keeping your face, your ears, your wrists, hands and feet well covered in below zero temperatures.