Staying Fit this Winter
Happy New Year!
As the days get shorter and chillier, many of us find it even more challenging to keep our bodies moving or start a new activity. The good news is that Calgary hosts an ever-increasing number of options for those who wish to get fit and active over the holidays and into the new year. Here are 5 ways to get you started (plus one ‘bonus’ option!).
1. Skiing, Snowshoeing & XC
One of Calgary’s greatest assets is its proximity to the Rockies. Our mountainous friends provide options for every budget and ability, starting with a simple hike and working all the way up to heli-skiing. Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to experience some of southern Alberta’s most picturesque landscapes that only become available with a few feet of packed powder on top. The UofC offers rental equipment and regular introductory classes throughout the snow season.
2. Skating, Sledding & Snowplay
You don’t have to load the car and head west for snow play either. Your doorstep is sometimes as far as you have to travel for options like sledding and building snow people. Many neighborhoods are also home to seasonal skating rinks for some cutting and gliding (maybe some sideboard holding) or shinny hockey. The City of Calgary maintain several rinks across the four quadrants and keep a list of communities with rinks on their website.
City of Calgary: Ice
3. Group Exercise, Dancing, Yoga & Pilates
Staying active in winter also lends itself to warm, well-lit rooms with friendly faces and fewer chattering teeth. Try a Yoga or Pilates class at your local studio or fitness center (most of them post their schedules online) or recruit a friend/colleague and check out a group exercise or dance class. There are so many options to get your body moving that you’re destined to find a format that suits your comfort level and abilities.
The feeling of being buoyant in a vast tank of water and having your limbs supported to allow full range is blissful. There are a number of options to engage with the pool beyond swimming laps as well; how about water walking, backstroke or simply splashing around (kids of all ages welcome). Most pools offer a range of aquatic classes too. Check out the weekly schedules for YMCA and City of Calgary locations here:
Calgary Pools: http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Recreation/Pages/Pools/Home.aspx
5. Cardio & Weight Training
Put your earbuds in, crank your favorite playlist or get fit while watching your favorite TV show! Whether in your basement or at your local gym, cardio equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and steppers, are great for getting your heart rate up and putting your body in motion. Resistance training is also important for keeping your bones and muscles into action plus generating one of the longest-lasting metabolism boosts you can get. Zero cost options like mall walking are ultra-accessible and popular at most of Calgary’s retail centers. Some even have a dedicated program, such as the Marlborough Mall.
Bonus: Social Sports
Indoor sports including hockey, soccer, curling, roller derby, badminton, basketball, tennis, squash, and volleyball are often accessible year-round and most leagues are open to new inquiries. Ask your friends if they know anyone on a team or even form your own. The accountability and sense of camaraderie you get from being part of a team can be super uplifting and keep you coming back again and again. Check out the Calgary Social Sports Club for even more ideas.
Calgary Social Sports Club: http://www.calgarysportsclub.com/
With these plus many more options right on your doorstep, there is no reason why the dropping thermometer should keep you from moving your body and enjoying the benefits of regular physical activity between now and the spring.
See you out there!