It’s vitally important to stay active and get plenty of outdoor time during fall and winter months. Getting outdoors and guard against lethargy, depression, and a host of other challenges that can set in sitting around one’s home during relatively colder and darker times of the year.
The American Heart Association recommends, “Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.” This doesn’t change even in the coldest state in the union, where the average winter temperature is 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Needed exercise can come indoors, be it at the gym or through incremental walks around the grocery store or office. But it also stays relatively warm enough in this region– with average daytime highs at least above freezing, for the most part — for us to enjoy any number of different outdoor activities.
Fun activities outside during the autumn and winter months can include leisurely strolls, bike rides, mid day walk and talk meetings and dog walks, with no one having to be a shut-in for too long in this part of the state. We can enjoy the great outdoors all year round, within reason of course. (Probably best to keep those running shorts in the drawer until at least springtime or whenever a trip to an indoor running track occurs.)
That said, getting outside is only half the battle for anyone in Southeast Alaska during the fall or winter.
This is because anyone who ventures outside any place between Skagway and Juneau anytime between the beginning of October and the end of March is going to need something warm, bright, and reflective to wear. During the time of year where the sun is only up for six or seven hours, with visibility not great even during those hours, anyone going outside needs to take every precaution they can to be seen. Unintentional Injuries can happen in low visibility, with drivers sometimes unable to see people walking by the side of the road or crossing the street.
The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC, has something in mind to help residents stay active and bright.
Win High-visibility Coat
Some people in cold, dark areas wear neon clothing. Others affix strips of reflective tape to their outerwear, scooping up fuschia and bright yellow duct tape like it’s going out of style (spoiler alert: it has.) SEARHC has something better in mind and will be raffling off a high-visibility coats as part of the four week long Stay Active, Stay Bright fitness challenge that starts on October 19th.
The new, free regional challenge is available to people of all ages! Every week participants will track their active minutes outside. Every week a raffle will take place and people from around the region will win some wonderful outdoor gear, including a new high-vis jacket from Grundens.
SEARHC regularly looks for ways to give back and help residents enjoy great health and everything that our amazing outdoors have to offer. The Stay Active and Bright fall fitness challenge and some high-visibility gear are great first steps toward a happy, healthy Southeast Alaskan winter. It won’t get you outside on its own, but it might help you stay out there a bit longer.
For more information, call Hannah at 907.364.4404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.