Fun Winter Fitness

Fun Winter Fitness

Canada is an outdoor paradise! Read on to learn how to get a great calorie burn while also having a blast.

Here are some of the top ways to get hot on a cold Canadian day. And if your schedule or lifestyle doesn’t allow you to take in the fun in the great outdoors, we’ve provided you with some gym-based alternatives to get you ready for the real thing.

Ice climbing

If you’re a thrill seeker, this is a great activity to try.

Health benefits: muscular and cardiovascular endurance, increased muscle tone, core stability, increased flexibility

Gym alternative:

  • The gauntlet, which is like a stair climber but has rolling stairs, is a great choice: climb on and push yourself up some rolling hills for 5 minutes at a time. You should be breathing heavily.
  • Alternate with 5 sets of 15 reps of overhead shoulder presses.

Tubing

How can sliding down a snowy hill on an inflatable tube not be fun? You can do it at any age and with friends and family.

Health benefits: increased muscular and cardiovascular endurance, and possible weight loss if done regularly

Gym alternative:

  • Climb up your imaginary snowy hill: get your treadmill up to an 8 to 10 percent incline at a speed of about 3.5 to 3.8.
  • Continue uphill for 5 minutes.
  • Ready to slide? Sit on a BOSU ball with the dome side down, place your hands on the handles, and lift your feet off the ground; rock from side to side. 
  • Repeat 10 times.

Ice skating

Ice skating can be enjoyed with family and friends, and you can do it both indoors and outdoors.

Health benefits: increased heart and lung health, increased cardiovascular and muscular endurance, and possible weight loss if done with intensity

Gym alternative:

  • Using gliders (or socks on a slippery floor), slide from side to side, adding swinging arms.Glide for 5 minutes at a time, alternating with 2 to 3 sets each of 15 standing squats and lunges on the floor.

Downhill skiing

With the wind in your face and the powder below your feet, you can enjoy the beauty of the mountain for hours on end.

Health benefits: increased lower-body strength, balance, coordination, increased muscular and cardiovascular endurance

Gym alternative:

  • On an absorptive floor, place both feet together and jump from side to side for 30 seconds.
  • Alternate with 3 to 4 sets of 15 squats, lunges, and wall sits (sit against a wall with your knees at 90 degrees).

Snowboarding

Many Canadians have swapped their skis for a snowboard to tame the mountain.

Health benefits: increased cardiovascular and muscular endurance, balance, core stability

Gym alternative:

  • Do 3 to 4 sets of 15 squats and lunges.
  • Alternate with 30-second intervals of plyometric jumps (burst up from a squat and jump high into the air).

The gym will be there for the rest of the year, but for now, why not take to your local mountain, frozen pond, or waterfall to fully enjoy the Canadian wonderland outside your doorstep?

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