Being active this winter Part I: No freeze mode for your health

December 20, 2010 by  

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This weather can turn even the most active among us into couch potatoes. Combine that with lots of holiday partying and by the end of winter, we are a few kilos more. I must confess, I, too have problems to drag myself outside and do my jogging run. Today’s weather is especially miserable: gray and wet, with dirty slushy snow all over the place. However, knowing now that health problems spike up during the winter time, especially during the holiday season, all the better reason for us not to put our health on freeze mode. I know that not all of us would dare to go running in the winter time but there are alternatives. Here are a few tips to get out and be active this holiday season:

Go visit the Christmas markets

Christmas markets are a very popular tradition in Europe. Little stalls selling Christmas crafts and goodies are usually set up in the middle of the town square. Enjoying the holiday atmosphere is a great incentive to get out of bed. Unfortunately, it can be very cold outside. Luckily, some great Christmas markets are housed indoors. In Zurich, most of the stalls are found inside the great hall at the main train station. The main attraction is a huge Christmas tree decorated from top to bottom with Swarovski crystals. Definitely worth the effort of getting out of the house.

Go ice skating and skiing

My kids love ice skating. Most skating rinks in Switzerland are outdoors. This is a great way to move and have some fun and fresh air. In the weekends, we venture further up to the skiing areas which could easily be reached by public transport.  I must confess that I can’t skate not ski. While my husband and the kids ski, I walk. Snow-walking is lovely. Give it a try!

Walking in the mall

Okay, so you can’t ski not skate and Christmas markets are closed down after Christmas. What about the rest of the winter season. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests doing some mall walking. Honestly, I am not the mall-walking type but this is a great alternative for those who can’t stand the cold. The best time to walk is early mornings before the shops open. This way, you’d be walking in a not-so-crowded mall, do window shopping without spending money.


Winter time is Wii Fit time. AHA and Nintendo have joined forces to promote active video games or exergames to get people moving. And if you think Wii Fit is only for young people, think again. The “12 Days of Getting Active” is for everybody of all ages, the whole year round.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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