Fun and Fitness: When it gets snowy, get active

A few Fridays ago, while being trapped indoors due to the massive snowfall, I started thinking about how people's daily routines get completely thrown off. Firstly, a good majority of us couldn't get our vehicles in motion due to driveway situations or snow plows not reaching back roads. Then came the inevitable lost day of school or work for many, leaving quite a few of us with some financial stress. Then I started thinking about how the heck the outdoor winter types go about their daily routines.

For many, taking their dogs for a few walks a day is something that both pet and owner look forward to. For a lot of these individuals, it is this very act that makes up their daily exercise routine and leaves them feeling satisfied, knowing that they “did something physical.” For others, a cold winter jog is not out of the ordinary. However, with a snowfall like we had in early February, terrains change very quickly and such simple daily activities are no longer an option for a day or two.

So what are people to do in such drastic situations? Southwestern Ontario is known for its crazy weather, and we often go several winter weeks without much snow at all. A heavy snowfall always provides a great opportunity to hit the neighborhood tobogganing hills with friends and family. Plowed roads often provide nicely packed snow, which makes for great hockey games. Two nights, a bunch of sticks, and a few go happy Canadians is all it takes to get a fun winter game in. The best part is, you have fluffy snow banks for safe body checking!

The sky is the limit when it comes to winter creativity. A few folks, a football and diving catches into the snow always make for a good running activity and a load of laughs. Snow angels and snow men with the kids, a ski day at one of the more local venues, or even a friendly snowball right to get the competitive spirits soaring are just a few of many other options. I remember being at a Buffalo Bills tailgating fiasco that turned into an all-out 40-on-40 snowball war. Never has so much fun been shared, and so many calories burned away from frantic evading of flying arsenal and packing of snowballs for retaliation.

For many of us, heavy snowfalls force us into outdoor activity that we absolutely dread. I don't know many people who can actually say they enjoy shovelling loads of snow, but for the resistance trainer in you, this could be an intensive workout that you may have been hoping for. Want to turn up the volume in your shovelling workout? Go next door and help shovel the neighbour's driveway too! You'll burn all sorts of extra calories and “pay it forward” at the same time.

It's amazing what you can do to get active, regardless of what sort of obstacles your environment challenges you with. It's often these unforeseen natural events that provide some of our fondest memories if we should make the most of them. Some things will always turn out to be a little more difficult on certain days no matter who and where we are. In the end, if there is a will, there truly is a way.