Sunday, 15 January 2012

Free to Cheap Physical Activity- Winter Edition

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Want to sweat and breathe heavily this winter? 

Good; Health Canada recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week (just like my SMART goal). However, it's winter in Montreal and, while the gym is still open, if you're looking for free to cheap physical activity, it might require a bit of thinking.

Health Canada suggests we get this activity in spurts of at least 10 minutes, so running for the bus won't cut it. That said, how will we catch those extra minutes away from the gym?

 
Photo by ariod

 
First, I like the idea of making exercise a social event.  If you're going to spend your money (time, energy) going out/ getting together, why not make the outing physical? Not only will it improve your physical fitness, but it makes life a little more social. You get double the benefits. There are tons of possible things to do, such as: 

-Go bowling, rent a badminton court, go dancing or roller skating. The cost is often less than a meal and you won't have spinach in your teeth. In Montreal, I know of at least one free swimming pool. Why not check it out?

Photo from the collection of derrypubliclibrary
-If the weather's nice, there's always tag in the park. Skating and tobagganing are also great options- you can buy secondhand or rent skates, and a shoutout to your friends will probably yield a lended crazy carpet or two. If you want to splurge a bit, why not rent some skis, a snowboard, or some snowshoes? It might be fun to try something new.

  • The City of Montreal's website has a page to direct you to winter activities in your borrough-if a link is broken, start back with the page for your burrough. (Note that some information is only available in French on the website, but you can always call for more info.)

  • Mount Royal also has a calendar of their activities including free bird-watching tours, skating, sliding, and snowshoeing.

  • Look around a bit and you'll find many other outdoor activities in different parts of the city.

-Good old biking may not work for most with the snow, but if it's not too cold, walks are a good option, even if just around the corner. If you want a long walk and the weather scares you, head for public buildings -malls, universities, museums, and libraries all have potential. Remember to take the stairs for an extra fitness kick.

Photo from uwdigitalcollections
-If you opt to stay in, you can still have fun- kitchen dance parties are the best ever, or practice your shadow boxing, aerobics, or weight training.

Health Canada suggests trying a new activity each month, letting members of the group take turns choosing it. Sounds pretty good, even in the cold. They've got lots great suggestions for how to fit more physical activity into your life. I highly reccomend checking out their site.


If you're looking for some artsy activities to enjoy now that summer and its festivals have definitely passed, check out my post Free to Cheap Indoor Arts- Montreal Edition. And, if you're looking for some music to get you started in the kitchen- these are some of my faves, so get dancing!

Do you have any suggestions for getting fit while it's cold out, fitting it into the schedule, or favourite exercises away from the workout gear? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about it and, if you like what you read, remember to share, subscribe, or follow me on twitter.

Live well, Charlotte

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