LIFESTYLE

5 Fun Ways to Stay Active this Winter



Exercising when it’s cold outside feels as natural as staying indoors on a bright sunny day. When chilly weather invades your year, choosing how to stay active during the winter can seem like fighting a losing battle.

You’ve worked hard all spring and summer for a body worthy of light clothing and bathing suits. However, it’s important to continue your fitness regime when autumn and winter arrive. Winter can make you feel isolated and without changing up your workout routine, you’re at risk of becoming bored.

Running on a treadmill can be tedious and fitness classes can become monotonous, which means it’s time for something new. Consider planning and investing in a routine that can be accomplished on both cold and snowy days to add variety. Winter only comes around once a year, so make every snowflake count!

Enhance your exercise routine with these five exciting ways to stay active in the winter and get ready to break a sweat all season long.

1. Try ‘snowga’ for daily stretching and meditation. Yoga is a great way to stay active during the winter because you can do it almost anywhere and for any length of time. Prepare your indoor space for meditation and exercises that will quiet the mind and loosen the body. If you’re adventurous, take your routine outdoors for a round of ‘snowga.’ This outdoor winter yoga practice is currently gaining popularity in Montréal, Que., and features exercises to warm up the body.

2. Don’t give up your bike! Keep cycling both indoors and outdoors. Cycling outdoors on your favourite bicycle or indoors on your trusty stationary bike are both great ways to elevate your heart rate during the winter. Before cycling in the snow, make sure to equip your bike with proper winter tires to prevent slipping and sliding. You might also want to add extra reflective gear to your bicycle for extra visibility. Looking for an easy and cost-effective way to turn your outdoor bicycle into a stationary bike? Use bike rollers to set up your bicycle for indoor access all season long.

3. Have a cleaning dance party with your favourite music! Regular house cleaning produces multiple benefits. First, organizing your home over the weekend prepares you for the week ahead and second, it’s a total mood booster. Shape Magazine reveals that the act of tidying up reduces stress, enhances productivity and promotes healthy eating. A study conducted by Psychological Science noted that participants who worked in a clutter-free environment were more likely to choose a healthy snack like an apple over a sugary treat like a chocolate bar. Eva Selhub, M.D., author of Your Health Destiny: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer explains that this is because the stress of working in a messy space engages our comfort food coping mechanisms.

3. Zumba is fun but Aqua Zumba is fun-tastic! Zumba combines fitness with dance for a truly stimulating form of aerobic activity. Elevate your cardiovascular exercise experience by taking your Zumba routine to the swimming pool! Aqua Zumba sessions (like this class offered a the Magna Centre in Newmarket, Ont.) give you the opportunity to splash and dance to your heart’s content. Feel the water surround you and dive into a new style of water aerobics.

4. Interested in bungee jumping on a smaller (and safer) scale? Try the bungee workout. Have you ever dreamed that you could fly? Take a bungee workout class and you’ll be one step closer to making your dream a reality. Bungee class participants step into a harness suspended from the ceiling by a bungee cord at the beginning of each session and jump through an aerobic routine. Movements become as enjoyable as prancing and skipping and give you the euphoric feeling of being weightless.

5. Sledding, one of winter’s greatest pastimes, is delightful and also burns calories. Ever wonder why you are exhausted after a day of playing in the snow and sledding down your favourite hill? It takes a lot of energy each time you climb up a snow-covered hill while carrying your sled. An hour of sledding burns roughly 400 calories, which is comparable to 30 minutes on a stair treadmill. The added benefit of sledding is that it’s a fun family activity suitable for all ages. Take advantage of every snowfall this winter and go sledding whenever you can. It’s a workout that will make you feel like a kid again.