I’ve been routinely spying on my next door neighbours’ backyard these past fast weeks as their swimming pool of sorts (from our oddly warm weather) solidified into an ice rink waiting eagerly for my blades to edge the surface. But I simply couldn’t wait any longer and so a good friend of mine and I took to the public ice rink to unleash our winter ACTIVE-ists.
Contrary to popular belief, the winter does not mean you have to hibernate from the great outdoors. Oh, you may have to pack in beach yoga and retire your bikes for the season but there is still plenty to be done outdoors and what’s more: fresh air, sunshine and exercise will boost your mood, control your weight, increase energy and supercharge your immune system during the chilly months!
- Here are my top ways to winterize your ACTIVEist routine!
1) Ice Skating!
- Go figure 😉 I used to be a competitive figure skater for 9 years and although I’m a little rusty now (even with freshly sharpened blades), there is nothing like the fresh smell of ice to elicit the giddy skater within me. No ice rink in your neighbours’ backyard? No problem! My friend and I try to train at least once a week at our local arena that has cheap public skating every day.
2) Do you want to build a snowman?
- This is, in fact, great exercise! Squat to not only protect your back from hunching over but also to work those thighs and have a gluteus maximus as round as the snow balls you’re rolling!
- The last time I went skiing I nearly got a foot cramp in my boot (just think about that for a moment) and was thrust down a hill far too advanced for my fresh-off-the-bunny-hill self. I haven’t gone back. But I would love to try it again, with an arsenal of magnesium to avoid foot cramps, and it definitely makes this list of great winterized exercise.
- There’s a plus! How many of you secretly love shoveling? Oh, we complain alright but really, by the end it’s been your motivation for exercise and you can’t contest against the fact that it does a shovel of a good job! Put some elbow grease into it and work out those pipes!
- Another favourite! Made extra challenging in a winter parka, snow boots and slippery snow. So this one is usually a quick pop out, snap a pic, and run back inside to curl up with hot tea. But hey! When else can you get frosty yoga pics?
6) Take a hike!
- There was one thing I still wanted after Christmas: hiking boots. I picked up a great pair this week so that I can go follow the deer tracks through the snowy trails. Bonus: snow tracks = more effective than bread crumbs at finding your way out of the woods.
Whatever you choose to do, get out and embrace this winter wonderland in whatever way you can!