For outdoor lovers, summer may seem like an easier time to exercise outside.
Although the colder outdoor temperatures may seem daunting, there are various activities that can be fun for the whole family, and get your body temperature up too!
Last year we wrote a post about ways to get exercise in the winter. Our suggestions were skiing and snowboarding, tobogganing and skating.
This year we decided to brainstorm a few more fun activities for the family to do outside.
You’ll be sure to stay warm doing them! Take a look:
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
Alberta is full of great pathway systems for hiking and biking in the summer. In the winter these pathways can be used for snowshoeing and cross country-skiing.
These excellent cardio-vascular exercises will get your heart rate up and provide you with necessary fresh air to revitalize. Not-to-mention they are a great way to see some of the beautiful landscape in Alberta.
Rent snow shoes or skis from local outfitters (snow shoe price is around $20/day per pair, skis are roughly the same) or buy pairs new or used if you plan on investing some time into the sport.
The University of Calgary Outdoor Centre has great rates and a load of various rental equipment available.
For trail information visit albertaparks.ca/kananaskis-country/information-facilities/trails.aspx.
There are many hikes open throughout the winter that, when hiked in the winter opposed to the summer, provide a totally different experience with breathtaking vistas.
Johnson Canyon Ice Walk outside of Banff, AB is a great example. The frozen waterfall sparkles and glistens.
Grotto Canyon outside of Canmore, AB is another popular winter hike. Crampons are suggested and again, can be rented from outdoor gear stores and rental shops for $10/day.
For most of the year Albertans curse at the dry climate that requires us to apply more moisturizer than in any other province. In winter, however the dry climate can be a blessing because it means that despite low freezing temperatures, a few layers of clothes and some bundling up provides necessary warmth to be outside.
Winter walks is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to exercise in the winter. Bundle appropriately and you may find that you actually work up a sweat underneath all the gear as you walk through your neighbourhood or local parks.
Walking is excellent for heart-health, especially when done regularly.
Dog Sled Racing
This seems more like a once in a lifetime opportunity kind-of-thing, but if you ever get a chance dog sledding is a fun and exciting activity to treat the adventurous family to.
Didsbury, south of Red Deer, is well known as one of the top dog-sled racing circuits. Take a short road trip to experience it for yourself.
This year mushers will be coming from all over the world to compete in the Rosebud Run Dogsled Classic, on Dec 7 and 8, 2013.
This spectator’s event wouldn’t be much exercise, however take a trip with a touring company and you’ll get your day’s fun outside. Two-hour, half-day or full-day mushing available out of Canmore, AB. Check out snowyowltours.com, howlingdogtours.com or maddogsexpidition.ca.
Snow-shovelling is a great work-out! It works the arms and legs and cardio as well just keep good posture remember.
If you are outside shovelling your walk, extend the work-out by shovelling your neighbour’s walk also. Not only will you get in your neighbour’s good-books, you will get some extra exercise in as well.
It is great karma and good for your body!
This is also a great way for kids to make some extra allowance money, or start up a little part-time job. Have them pitch the idea to neighbours for $5-10 a shovel or a fixed rate every month. What a great opportunity to teach them a little entrepreneurship.
Do you have any other suggestions on fun winter exercise activities? Share with us your families favourite outdoor activities!