Tia Wayling is the recreation services coordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay. File photo

Rec Perspectives: Ditch the Comfort Zone and Become More Resilient

"Whether you're interested in building resiliency as a human or not, there are benefits to your health when you seek discomfort. Basically, becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable helps you better cope with challenges in your life."

“Rec Perspectives” with Tia Wayling, the recreation services coordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay

As we approach colder temperatures and less favourable weather, we notice that people start retreating indoors to meet their physical activity needs. But why? The cold, rain, and snow are a huge deterrent for many. We are all guilty of being a “fair-weather” person in some way.

Personally, I’m not a fan of walking in the rain because I don’t like drops of water on my face. Perhaps I was a cat in my former life. But, in all reality, rain doesn’t actually affect my performance or harm me in any way, it just makes me less comfortable. And, this level of discomfort is something that I’m seeing in my children, which bothers me.

I’m trying my best to raise resilient humans and if walking in the rain is holding them back from wanting to enjoy being outdoors, I have to re-think my parenting strategies and become a better, more resilient, role model.

Sometimes, just the unpredictability of the weather, especially in the winter, can make us uncomfortable enough to build a displeasure towards being active outdoors. This week’s article is not aimed at the die-hards that play in all weather, but instead those of us that are stuck in the “comfort zone”.

Whether you’re interested in building resiliency as a human or not, there are benefits to your health when you seek discomfort. Basically, becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable helps you better cope with challenges in your life. It teaches your brain to not stress or get anxious about situations that are not ideal or unknown. It will increase your level of tolerance, help you try new things and not let small things get in the way, like a cold or rainy day.

In Creston, there are usually only a few weeks in the year where the temperature actually drops below -10 C, so it would not be an extreme feat to continue your workouts outdoors for most of the year (pre-existing health conditions aside).

Slap on some shoe grips, dress appropriately for the weather using layers and take a positive attitude with you. You’ll likely feel very accomplished. You can always change when you get home and sip on a warm beverage to rehydrate when you’re done. Taking a more resilient approach to outdoor activity opens up your options to stay active and extends your outdoor “season”.

There are even outdoor groups and clubs in much colder cities and towns than ours that are known to give out badges as a reward for enduring certain weather milestones. Perhaps we need to start our own club and hand out all-weather and sub-zero participation badges.

For some, the satisfaction of displaying your badge and getting the recognition is enough to break out of that comfort zone and try something new. Plus, being outdoors puts you at a much lower risk of getting sick than being indoors.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get sick from being in cold or wet weather. You need to be exposed to a virus or bacteria for that to happen. Plus, being outdoors will increase your Vitamin D levels which help give your immune system a boost.

At the Creston and District Community Complex (CDCC), we do have indoor programs running but we would love to hear from you if you’d interested in participating in an all-weather outdoor fitness class.

Message us on Facebook or email crestonrec@rdck.bc.ca and give your support in joining Team Resilience!

Creston Valley Advance

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