Winter in the North can be daunting and often times we feel solar-powered. When daylight hours are short it’s easy to feel our energy matching that lull, with our cozy beds and blankets calling to us louder than the outdoors … but it’s important to stay active. It’s time for a shift in our mindset, and this shift can get us through the dark days of winter until the light (and spring) returns. Here are a few tips or small investments that will pay health benefits:
-A headlamp means you can get outside after dark. Walk your dog, find a trail that has been packed down by snowshoers, or simply bundle up and get moving around your neighborhood. And heading outside after dinner, instead of straight for the couch, will burn calories and help you sleep.
-Better yet, find an inexpensive pair of snowshoes. There is no learning curve or lessons required; just strap them on and GO. That being said, if you would like to take a lesson, the Otway Nordic Centre has a Free Snowshoe Lesson for New & Beginning Seniors on Wednesday, Jan. 9th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. And if you like it, join the 3 Week Free “Explore More” Snowshoe Tours for all levels of seniors, Jan. 16th, 23rd, and 30thfrom 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm! Just pay the trail pass and rental fee for these events, which will be 50% off for seniors. If you’re looking to get out of the city a bit more for your snowshoeing adventures, try Eskers Provincial Park or Crooked River Provincial Park. Crooked River is well worth the 1 hour drive North of town because if you follow the trail to Livingston Springs you can take in the beauty of the crystal clear springs that never freeze over!
-If cross country skiing is more up your alley, Otway has you covered! Take a Free Classic Ski Lesson for New & Beginning Seniors on Monday, Jan. 7th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and join the 3 Week Free “Explore More” Ski Tours for all levels of seniors on Jan. 14th, 21st, and 28th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Just pay the trail pass and rental fee for these events, which will be 50% off for seniors. These fees will also be 50% off every Monday for the whole season for Seniors Day!
-Check out your local skating rink. One idea is the Prince George Ice Oval – it is a 400- metre outdoor track, and day passes are only $2 per person or $25 for a season pass! There are also some indoor options that you can either put on the blades or walk the stairs and long straightaways in the stands (locations are listed on the City of PG website). Plan to stay moving for a certain time and complete some loops around the rink. Enlist a friend and chat the time away, which is a ‘win-win’ as this fulfills our needs for social connection AND fitness.
-Purchase a FitBit (from London Drugs or Amazon.ca) for about $80. Place it on your wrist and set a goal (like steps per day or active minutes). It’s easy to set up on your phone or tablet, and then you can be accountable to yourself. Start with getting 10,000 steps for two days in a row, then three days, and beyond!
-For those days that are too cold or slippery, try indoor activities like badminton, pickleball, curling, Aquafit, or a walking group like the People in Motion Walking Program at the CN Centre.
-And remember, you are always welcome to try a new class at Active Health Solutions if you want some variety in your fitness adventures.
We’ll see you out there, have a great winter!!
~Bryn & Ann
(Blog post adapted from a post written by Ann for Healthier You Magazine in December of 2014)