Stay safe and active this winter with some common sense and a few snow-savvy accessories.

Winter can be one of the hardest times of the year to stay active. Not only does the cold slow down some would-be winter warriors, but the early darkness and potential slip-and-fall ice hazards may also keep you from maintaining healthy exercise. Luckily, with a few adjustments, you can ease your favorite outdoor exercise like running or power walking into the winter season.

Here are five tips on how to stay safe while being active this winter.

1. Step Safely

Whether you stay active in the cold months by walking or running, the right shoes could make the difference between stepping smartly or a serious slip. There are even slip-on shoe spike accessories that easily attach to a variety of footwear for added protection against falls on icy sidewalks or trails. For example, these Yaktrax are a good option. Also be sure to take your time walking or running on uneven/poorly shoveled sidewalks as it can easily lead to a fall and possibly a twisted ankle.

2. Hot and Not-so-heavy

Once you’ve got the best footwear for your winter activity, make sure you’re properly prepared in warm but moisture-wicking outdoor gear. Heavy or thick clothing doesn’t necessarily keep you warmer. Technological advances in the construction of fabrics mean there’s remarkably breathable yet lightweight clothing available for the winter months. Your best bet is to hit an outdoor or athletic specialty store that can help you select the right outfit for your outdoor adventure.

3. Safety First

Ensure your loved ones know where you are. If you have a set route then share that with a loved one before you leave. Google maps has Location Sharing that lets you share where you are with anyone until you turn it off. Also consider getting safety tags that attach to footwear that give your name, address and emergency contact in case a bad fall leaves you incapacitated.

4. A Bright Idea

Another important accessory during the winter months is lighting. Get special lights if you’re doing your activity late at night or early in the morning; there are many options that are easy to attach and leave your hands free, like this Running Night Light from Amazon. Reflective gear can also be helpful, but is not nearly as much of an attention-getter as a bright light, especially when it’s very dark out.

5. Be Weather Wise

Follow weather reports and if there is a severe cold/frostbite alert, stay indoors.

Whether you’re a runner, walker or just want to stay active try incorporating these tips into your outdoor winter workouts. Don’t let winter get in the way of your health.

Help protect your lifestyle and your income with health insurance. Speak to an advisor at 1-866-262-7920.

 

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.