Staying active in the winter is good for your overall health

101-year-old Lola Holmes curls to keep herself fit and to make friends.


By Soubhik Chakrabarti    

Having fun, exercising and making real friends who she can depend on, for the world’s oldest active female curler, the game is much more than just a hobby. Lola Holmes, at 101 years, started playing regularly when she was 80, and “she does it to keep active and make friends”.

For those feeling lazy during winters, it’s a great game to socialize, and have fun.

Richard Brower, membership services coordinator at the Vancouver Curling Club talked about how popular the sport has become during the winters. “January is nearly fully booked,” he said. While the crowd tends to be mostly older people, there are kids joining as young as eight, with families and friends playing together.

“Not many sports are as great,” said curler Gail Lepore talking about the limited sports options during winters. Today, she has met good friends, and takes part in three games every week that span around two hours each game.

Dani Wilson, mental performance consultant at the University of British Columbia, stated how the holiday season brings with it increased social demands, financial demands and Christmas parties, as well as health repercussions that many do not expect.

“A lot of things can happen like tighter muscles, stiffer limbs, shortness of breath,” she explained. She talked about how people with asthma can be more susceptible, and even how there is an increased risk of dehydration during winters. What adds to the problem is that ‘the body doesn’t send thirst signals,’ she said.

Wilson believes that curling is a great choice, especially because there is a “lot of strategy involved.” She talked about how the sport is psychologically demanding, with the need to indulge in quick decision making, helping raise awareness.

The advice to those looking to battle the winter blues is to keep a daily log, and have a routine, while setting daily goals.

And Holmes does just that. She makes a schedule of what she plans to do the next day, every night before she goes to bed

For those looking to indulge in something more fun during the winters, curling can be a great choice. “Keep playing, don’t give up,” is Holmes’ advise for new players.

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