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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Physical Activity
- In the Community - Winter Activity in Canada

Walking is a great activity that requires little equipment, skill and is very affordable. Living in Canada can create unique challenges for walking during the winter. Here are some tips to keep in mind.



Dress for the weather

  • Dress in layers (wear something waterproof for your top layer and remove the inside layers first)

  • Wear appropriate footwear for the weather (i.e. something warm, waterproof, long boots if there is deep snow, good tread for slippery days).

  • Wear a scarf, hat and mitts

  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15+. Sunlight reflects off of snow and ice. You can still get a sunburn and cause damage to your skin in the winter.

  • Replace your wet clothes with dry ones. This will keep you warm and comfortable.

  • Winter Safety Tip Sheet




Incorporate walking into your day

  • Walk to and from work.

  • Walk during your lunch hour.

  • Find different spots to walk, keep it interesting.

  • Check out local trails.

  • Visit different towns.

  • Look in your newspaper for local events.

  • Vary your pace, do short bursts of walking as fast as you can (1-2 minutes).

  • Get a walking buddy.

  • Vary your distances. Try short walks of 10-15 min and other longer walks of 30-60 min.

  • Start your walk into the wind so that you can finish it with the wind at your back, or choose paths that are sheltered from the wind.




Be Safe

  • Bring food, water, extra mitts, space blanket, matches and a cell phone.

  • Let others know where you are going and/or walk with a friend.

  • Wear reflective clothing in case it gets dark during your walk.

  • Watch for cars as they may have trouble seeing you in the winter (snow banks, falling snow or rain and blocked sidewalks can make it a challenge).

  • Plan for breaks along the way (restrooms, places to warm up).

  • Winter Safety Tip Sheet




Motivate to Activate

  • Use a pedometer to help you keep track of your distance.

  • Try using a heart rate monitor to see how hard you are working. 

  • Walk with a buddy or a group.  Knowing others are going to be there may help you keep walking.

  • Keep track of where and how far you have walked (e.g., using an app or journal).

  • Use these as a motivation to keep walking.




Make it Fun

Make it a family affair. Plan family walks after dinner or on weekends. Use the time to enjoy each others company and find new and interesting places to explore.




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