5 Creative Ways to Exercise Outside in the Winter

For outdoor lovers, summer may seem like an easier time to exercise outside.

winter exercise calgary

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:

Winter exercise calgary

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.

Winter Hiking near calgary

Winter Hiking

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.

Calgary winter exercise

Winter Walks

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.

Canmore Dog sledding

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 calgary exercise

Shovelling Walks

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.

Snowball Fight Cat

Do you have any other suggestions on fun winter exercise activities? Share with us your families favourite outdoor activities!


Winter Fun and Fitness for the Whole Family

It’s March! Finally the days are getting longer and the prospect of spring is on the horizon. Of course, in Calgary you never know just how long winter will be, which is why it is important to embrace it while it’s here.

Winter fun Naturopathy

To rid the household of cabin fever there are many activities suitable for the whole family that embraces the outdoors.

Getting outside for some exercise is great for everyone’s physical health and also mental wellbeing.

So let’s take a look at some of the options:

Bowness Park Skating Rink


Did you know there are over 34 outdoor volunteer operated, community skating rinks around town? This means it is free to go as a family. All you need is skates of course.

No skates? Well, you can buy skates new or used or you can rent skates for a reasonable daily rate.

There are even skating events around town to promote community engagement!

In Bowness there is free family skating Wednesdays, 10:15 – noon, Thursdays, 10 – 11:30 and Sundays, 11 – noon. For more information call 403-288-8300 or e-mail info@mybowness.com.

Coming up this Sunday, March 3rd is a skate party at the Killarney/Glengarry Community Association.  Visit http://www.killarneyglengarry.com/coming-events for details.

Festival Wknd Yoga @ Prince's Island Park. 2012 Calgary Folk Music Festival.


Okay it’s not an outdoor activity (well it can be) but it sure is good for the mind and body …. YOGA!!!!

Ranchlands Community Association hosts yoga for the whole family:

Beginners for Adults:                                          Wed 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Chair Yoga for Adults:                                         Wed 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

After School Yoga for ages 6-12:                  Wed 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Family Yoga Ages 5+:                                           Wed 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Yoga-nastics for ages 6-12:                               Wed 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Adult Fun Yoga for ages 16+:                          Wed 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Visit http://www.calgaryarea.com/nw/ranchlands/ranchlands.htm for more details.

Calgary toboggan health happieness


Tobogganing is a weather dependent activity as it requires a nice snowfall to really be a lot of fun. Next snowfall bundle up in hats and mitts and snow-pants and get out there! Look for a hill or slope near you.

Caution; Make sure your hill of choice is far away from busy streets or traffic of any kind.

Ski Calgary health holistic

Skiing and Snowboarding

Growing up my Dad always said, “A bad day in the mountains is better than a good day in the city,” what he meant was any time spent in the mountains was always a blessing. Living in Calgary we grew up so accustom to spending time in the Rocky Mountains.

One way to thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and get some good exercise is to go skiing or snowboarding. A day trip to the mountains may require a bit more planning and a greater financial investment, however the payoff is immense.

Visit any of the local ski hills, Sunshine, Lake Louise, Nakiska, heck even stay in town and visit Canada Olympic Park (COP).

New to the sport: lessons are available at most ski hills and privately as well.

Winter exercise calgary

Above are just a few ideas to get the family out and active! Other activities may include snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, or ice-climbing for the more adventurous ones.

The point is, get outside in the fresh air and enjoy winter while it is here! It will clear the feeling of cabin fever winter can sometimes give us, and it’s good for our physical health also!

Are you organizing any fun outdoor activities? Please let us know so we can all have fun together and build a stronger community.  Just comment below!


Summer Exercise

With hot summer days upon us it’s inevitable that more time will be spent outside, including time spent on physical activity.

summer exercise

Let’s face it; nobody wants to be in the gym on a beautiful summer day.

However, with average daily temperatures much higher and the sun strong there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when planning your outdoor excursions.

(Keep in mind – the intention of this post is not to be a downer, but to realistically plan ahead to avoid some summer bummers)

summer exercise fun active

So let’s take a look at how to plan ahead for outdoor exercise:

Water is very important. According to Arthur Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology “the total amount of water in a man of average weight (70 kilograms) is approximately 40 litres, averaging 57 percent of his total body weight.” We are clearly made up of a lot of water.

summer heat hydration

It is easier to sweat and burn off water, electrolytes and salt when it’s hot outside making it very important to drink plenty and replenish to avoid dehydration.
Pack a cooler in your trunk with a few extra water bottles. Ensure each of your bags has a water bottle in it. An empty bottle can be filled at park water fountains, as long as you have one with you.

Feeling the sun on your skin is such a wonderful sensation, especially for us Northerners who relish in the few months of the year where we truly feel the heat of the sun. Never-the-less the sun burns and one must be cautious to avoid getting burnt.

sunscreen sun burn prevention

There are natural options for sunscreen. See the article The 21 Most Affordable Natural Sunscreens. And again, pack sunscreen in every bag and leave one in the trunk of the car.

Additionally, sport a hat! It will protect your face from harmful rays and give you a sporty summer look at the same time.

Sun hat children sun protection

Finally, know your limit. If the sun has been blessing your skin for a good part of the day, sit in the shade. Too much of anything, even a good thing is simply too much.

Chafing and Blisters:
It is important to wear shoes that fit properly, with socks that cover your ankles. Chafing leads to blisters, that inevitable lead to unhappy feet.

Blister prevention stopping

If you do encounter a blister there are natural and effective ways to treat it. See How to treat blisters naturally here www.naturalnews.com/blisters_natural_remedies.

Other helpful tips include:
• Choose the time of day wisely. Early mornings and evenings are great times to exercise outside because the temperatures are slightly cooler.
• Wear clothing that allows for a breeze to travel through, loose and airy. Also wear clothes that are lightly coloured to minimize absorption of the suns heat.

Summer exercise tips

• Listen to your needs. If your body feels tired or you start to feel dizzy or nauseous stop and rest and replenish!

And of course … Have fun!!! Do you have any favourite summer pastimes to share? Give us a holler on Facebook or Twitter!

Just click on the page you use most to connect with us.


Thank you and happy living from Docere Wellness Center in Calgary www.docerewellness.com