My sister, who is an outdoor education teacher on the West Coast of Canada, has a favourite saying, “there is no such thing as bad weather…just bad gear!” This sentiment is something I think about on even the coldest days when being motivated to exercise is a challenge. 

As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, it is common to feel uninspired to go outside. It is human nature to hibernate inside and do nothing. After all, it’s dark and uninviting out there.

But, I encourage you to change your mentality and try to get outside no matter what the weather. (Within reason, of course – don’t go outside in a massive snowstorm or a hurricane!)

If you change how you think about the cold, rain, sleet or snow, your behaviour will follow. Since it’s lighter in the morning, you could try to schedule your playtime first thing in the day. Yes, it’s cold, but that’s what layers are for! Now that’s a way to get up and go.

Yes, you do have time!

How much? In my book “The Play Book:  How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health” I help break down the time guidelines recommended by The World Health Organization for exercise.  Do you realize that the amount of aerobic or cardio activity recommended to keep healthy is only 150 minutes per week – or about 20 minutes a day?

Look at the whole day as a way to move more and sit less.  For example, 20 minutes is easily divided into manageable pieces – like 5 minutes four times a day.  Finding play (exercise) habits that we like, such as getting outdoors regardless of the weather, are easier to practice when we set ourselves up for success.

We all know that eating better or getting fitter has a lot of moving parts and actions. If you have the right gear, it makes your playtime fun, no matter what the weather.

Remember, you don’t HAVE to play, you GET to play!