Canadian winters are cold. Sometimes brutally cold! This can make people hibernate and reduce their level of physical activity, which impacts your overall fitness level.
Leave the hibernation to the squirrels – and embrace what the colder months have to offer to get fit with family fun!
Dress for the Season
The worst thing about outdoor activities is when you aren’t dressed properly and you catch a chill. It’s not the summer where a tank top and shorts will do the trick.
So prepare for the season with proper winter gear for outdoor activities. This includes a good winter coat, waterproof boots, waterproof gloves, scarves and hats.
Bundle up and go on a winter walk/run with you family and friends. If you are going at night, be sure to have some sort of reflective gear on your jacket so that vehicles see you crossing the street. Be extra cautious and look out for ice patches and uneven snow. If you are an avid walker/runner, there are special spikes you can put on your shoes that grip ice to prevent slips.
Snowshoeing/Cross Country Skiing
If you are interested in doing some weekend trips away, consider snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Both these activities are super easy to learn and fun for people of all ages.
The majority of cities/towns across Canada will have a local skating rink with public skate times. This is a great activity to get the whole family physically active together! Have a hot chocolate at the end and make it a real treat and weekly tradition.
If you’re into hockey, skiing or snowboarding – this season is made for you! Try to organize monthly excursions or weekly shinny sessions with your friends and watch how fast the winter flies by while you’re having fun!
If you absolutely hate outdoor activities, there are many indoor activities to explore during the winter months. The following are a few options to consider for the colder months:
- Spin classes
- Gym workouts (weights, treadmill running, group classes)
- Swimming at local pool
- Indoor rock climbing
- Yoga (hot yoga is nice in the Winter!)
- Mall walking - you don’t need to buy something, but walking around the mall will help keep you fit and if it’s really icy, it may be safer than walking outside.
Remember, winter isn’t an excuse to be a couch potato. However you choose to stay fit during the colder months, do it with enthusiasm and have fun!
By: Kelly Atyeo-Fick, B.A.Sc., M.H.Sc., P.H.Ec.