How to be active in the Winter to Spring transition

Spring has officially sprung here on the West Coast and it couldn’t be fresh and lovely outside. Spring is the time of rejuvenation, rebirth, and the revitalization of all things in nature.


In Chinese medicine, physical movement is essential for health as it is in this time where movement should begin once again after the cold hibernation of winter. This transition from winter to spring is the biggest transition our bodies take out of all the seasons. Our bodies are coming from the quiet, restive, Yin energy of winter into the strong, upward ascending of Yang energy.


We need to be outside, moving and breathing to absorb the invigorating energy this new season has to offer. Our bodies are craving this abundance after the long winter and it’s important for us to take advantage of this. With external physical movement comes internal energetic movement, moving Qi and Blood in our bodies where it may have been stuck throughout the winter.


Physical activity is crucial for maintaining health and balancing Qi for proper well being.


But not all exercise is the same! As we’re getting into a more Yang season, we need to begin more active, powerful Yang-type of exercises more frequently, and save the slower mellow Yin exercises for only here and there.


Some examples of Yang exercises include

  • boxing,

  • running,

  • weight lifting (heavy weight, lower reps)

  • and anything that would require explosive power.


What all these exercises have in common is that they’re great at breaking up any sort of internal stagnation the body has withheld during the cold winter. At the time of coldness it’s important for the body to secure energy as it needs as much preserved to make it through the snowy cold season.


The aim then from traditional Chinese medicine perspective is to do enough Yang style activity to keep Qi circulating freely through our bodies but not too much to deplete ourselves, which is why we still want to do these workouts in conjunction with a few slower Yin style exercises. This prevents our bodies from getting run down too fast too soon, and allows our bodies to feel vibrant and healthy as we transition through the season.  


Examples of Yin type exercises that are recommended to be performed in the spring (again, less frequently than Yang style) include:

  • Yin yoga,

  • walking,

  • stretching,

  • and lifting lighter weights with higher reps.

If you are undergoing an IVF cycle and would like to move your body in way that is in tune with this sensitive time, Dr. Flynn has written a wonderful article about it. See here for more information. 

In all seasons it’s important to stay active and move our bodies, however Spring is the most important time to get outside and exercise. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful place that makes it easy to be outdoors. So hurry up and get outside!


If you would like to speak with a TCM practitioner about how you can incorporate more appropriate exercise into your routine, especially if you are undergoing an IVF, reach out today. We offer free 15 minute phone consults to get started!


By Adrienne Coombs

R.Ac, Dip Dr TCM

Adrienne is our all around wonderful West Coast practitioner in Squamish, BC. She is trained in TCM reproductive treatment as well as sports medicine.

Are you up the Sea to Sky and looking for treatment close to home? Connect with Adrienne today.

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