As much as the average Canadian loves to talk about the weather, they rival outdoor trainers or the hottest weather watcher when it comes to checking the forecast.
After all, nothing throws a wrench in running, riding, pinball, swimming, or a game of tennis or basketball than mild weather. And with climate change shaping up to be more dramatic in all parts of Canada, weather conditions are more likely to change than we practice outside.
Opening for the first time since 1971, the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa did not open this winter. Citing higher than average temperatures, officials in charge of the ice surface at the world’s largest skating rink have stated that it is too thin to safely accommodate the thousands of recreational skaters who use the Skateway each year.
Those same mild temperatures across the country have made the ski trails tougher this year, which makes it tough for snow sports hoping to enjoy the winter on their skis. And more and more communities are installing expensive refrigerated rinks to bring out the skating season, which has been slowly but noticeably shorter in recent decades.
Second Canada’s Changing Climate Report, a 2019 summary of climate science, seasonal snow accumulation has declined from coast to coast since 1981, a phenomenon projected to make winters much different in future years. But it’s not just the lack of snow that changes winter sports activities. Extreme fluctuations in temperature that trigger melting followed by icy conditions mean sidewalks feel less safe for people who want to walk and run in the winter.
Climate change is also impacting summer activities, with intense heat, wind and rain having a negative effect on outdoor exercise.
“Extremes in the weather (that is, too hot, cold or windy or wet) reduce the mobility and engagement with our physical environment,” said the Australian team of researchers, whose recent study on the effects of weather on physical activity has been published. International Journal of Nutrition and Physical Activity. “This can limit opportunities for physical activity, including exercise, recreation and safe active transportation, reduce the comfort of sleeping environments, and time spent indoors, where cellular activities are common (sitting, watching TV, using computers and mobile devices. ).”
In just digging into what kind of effect the weather has on physical activity, researchers collected movement from 368 adults (average age 40) wearing FitBit activity 24 hours a day for 13 months. Daily activity was compared with daily weather, noting temperature, rain, wind, clouds and sunshine to determine the influence of weather on movement patterns.
Noting that the study subjects lived in Adelaide, Australia, where the average winter temperatures are more Vancouver or Victoria than Edmonton or Montreal (ranging from seven to 15 degrees Celsius) and summer temperatures hover around 28 degrees Celsius with low humidity, weather. they still play a role whenever their citizens exercise.
A dry, calm, sunny day with a maximum temperature of 22 C brought out groups of exercisers. But even on hot days when the temperature exceeded 30 C, the level of physical activity remained at what it cost him. When the thermometer is changed to 40 C. Every day when the thermometer is active, especially vigorous exercise, it has decreased significantly. A similar pattern occurred when the rains and winds increased. But light physical activity was made less by changes in temperature.
It is easier to protect oneself from the elements with clothing and equipment (that is, an umbrella) that is slightly active. However, this becomes more difficult with forms of activity such as jogging or running,” the researchers said.
It’s not just the sports coach who feels the impact of extreme weather patterns. Active commuters are more likely to leave their bike or walking shoes at home when wind, rain, snow, heat and high humidity dominate weather patterns. Summer with hot, muggy temperatures will see more people seeking the comfort of an air-conditioned car than suffering through a hot, humid bike ride to and from work.
These types of mountains and valleys are not a new phenomenon in the action of the body covering up due to the weather. What is new is that climate change has the power to create more frequent and long-lasting weather patterns without remission, which have a greater impact on our daily routine. We will probably have to travel further north to find true winter conditions and it will be harder and harder in most Canadian states to host winter sports and activities. Summers will be hotter, with fewer hours in the day when outdoor exercise is more comfortable, which means more hours of inactivity.
“Global temperatures are increasing, rainfall patterns are changing, and the frequency of extreme weather events is on the rise,” the researchers said. “As these patterns develop, the number of days each year where weather conditions favor active movement and outdoor environments accessible for recreation are likely to decrease.”
In this regard, community leaders, urban planners and recreation programmers need to look to facilities that are less affected by the weather and to design recreation facilities that are better protected from the sun and rain. Dirty outdoor sports also need to consider the consequences of football, soccer and baseball in high heat, allowing more water and shade breaks.
In the meantime, the rest of us will work to become more environmentally friendly. He would like to abandon the exercise of the price of convenience.
Opinion: What can Quebec do to tackle climate change?
Young Quebecers are the least concerned about the climate crisis: surveys
Hundreds protest for climate and social justice in Montreal