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Why be active this winter?


A cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night is so much better following outdoor fun! Weather plays a big role in determining levels of physical activity. It’s no surprise that activity levels are highest in summer and lowest in winter, thanks to winter’s shorter days and cold temperatures.

Guy Faulkner, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Physical Education and Health, says that climate is potentially one of the most important environmental barriers to being physically active. Evidence supports the fact that people are less physically active during winter, particularly in climates with extreme temperatures — like Nova Scotia!

There’s no excuse not to be active in winter. Don’t miss your chance to get out and play in the snow — there are many great activities that can only be done in winter!

  • Being active doesn’t mean hard work, time and money. It’s cheap, accessible, fun and can be made a part of your daily routine.
  • More than half of Nova Scotians report getting less than 15 minutes per day of moderate exercise — not enough to achieve health benefits. How active are you?
  • Children become less active as they get older. More than 80 percent of youth in grade 11 get less than half an hour of physical activity a day. Help your children stay active and healthy.
  • If we can encourage children and youth to adopt healthy habits when they’re young, they will be more likely to keep these habits into adulthood – and to stay healthy!
  • Inactivity can lead to obesity, heart disease and a host of medical problems.
  • Obesity in children is growing at a higher rate than in adults. Almost one in every five children in grade 3 is overweight, with just as many at risk of obesity. In grade 7, almost 37 per cent of boys and 40 per cent of girls are overweight or at risk.
  • The goal of the Department of Health and Wellness is to improve the health of Nova Scotians, which includes increasing the number of people who are active enough for health benefits (combined 60 minutes of activity per day).
  • Physical inactivity costs Nova Scotians $107 million a year in direct medical costs.
  • Being active doesn’t take a lot of time, money or equipment… all you need is warm clothes and the great outdoors. Take the roof off winter and be active for your health!
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