13 December, 2017

Deep Winter Exercise

Just because there’s snow outside doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit

When there’s two feet of snow on the ground. When it’s 10 degrees below zero. When you haven’t seen the sun in a week. It’s days like these when exercise is rarely on your mind.

The depths of winter, however, are exactly the right time to gear up, head outside, get your heart pumping and maybe even sweat a little. Here are a few ideas.

Cross-country skiing to get your heart working

If you’re seeking a serious cardio workout during the winter months, look no further. Cross-country skiing is demanding, and it pays off. After a few months of skiing, you might just emerge from winter feeling stronger than before. Plus, there are no kids on snowboards buzzing by and no line ups. Just you and nature.

Snowshoeing through rural and woodland winterscapes

If you’re after the magical quiet of a forest in winter, snow shoes are the way to go. Any park that you can drive to is fair game. While most park visitors are stuck on the trails, you can head into the back country with ease as you traverse the land on top of the snow. Snowshoeing is also ideal if you’re looking for a workout that’s less intense than cross-country skiing.

Skating on artificial outdoor tracks

Rinks are fun. Ponds are a treat. But ice paths and trails are a real adventure. Municipalities across the country are getting in on the action and creating meandering tracks for everyone to enjoy. Some are drawing people from hundreds of kilometres away. If you live in the right area, you may also be able to skate on rivers and canals, a longstanding winter tradition in parts of Canada.

Choosing the right clothes

As the old Scandinavian saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing.” Take a tip from the pros, and adopt the three-layer system.

Layer one: the base layer closest to your skin. The most important quality of your base layer is that it wicks away sweat from your skin. Layer two: the mid layer, which is usually something soft and warm, such as fleece, that also draws moisture away from your body. Layer three: the outer shell. Your outer shell must be breathable (to let moisture escape) and waterproof (to keep water out). If you warm up, take off a layer. If you cool down, add it back.

There’s no need to be sedentary in winter. Create a plan, make sure you have the right clothes and have fun!