Don’t let your New Year’s resolutions fall through the cracks

If you are like most people, one of your 2012 resolutions may be to lose weight or get more active. Although dipping temperatures and mountains of snow may beckon you back to your warm couch and old habits, don’t let old man winter or Jack Frost nipping at your nose keep you indoors this winter season.

According to the Canadian Fitness and lifestyle research Institute, 61% of adults aged 18 and older are considered insufficiently active, putting them at a higher risk for chronic disease such as colorectal cancer.

This winter, help reduce this statistic by sticking to your new or existing fitness program, coupling it with the added benefits of fresh air. To inspire you to bundle up, get outside and get active, here are a few cold weather exercise activities that are fun for the whole family.

Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is one of the hottest things in winter sports today. It offers a great cardiovascular work-out for all ages and fitness levels. It’s a low-impact sport, much simpler and safer than skiing and can burn up to 500 calories per hour.

Walking & Hiking
Trade in your hiking shoes or runners for thermal winter boots and experience your favourite trail in a new light – the gleaming white snow.

Skating
Find a frozen surface, either at a local park or arena and lace up. Skating can not only get you to break a sweat but it helps build muscles and endurance.

Hockey
Canada’s national sport can be played both on or off the ice and offers the benefits of skating combined with teamwork. Pile on the layers, top it off with your favourite jersey, grab a few friends and get out there!

Curling
More than one million Canadians curl at least once a year at one of the country’s 1,200 clubs. The low lunges you have to get into to throw a rock help increase hip flexibility, and the vigorous sweeping exercises your arms, legs, lungs and heart. Try it out, you may sweep your way into a new pastime.

Skiing
Choose between cross-country or downhill and get your heart rate going as you plough your way through trails or bomb down the hill. Pace yourself and select trails that match your experience and fitness levels.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding is an increasingly popular winter sport that offers a number of health benefits. Even if you’re not the most proficient snowboarder, you can still enjoy cardiovascular benefits and burn calories. Like skiing, it is an aerobic exercise that incorporates muscle strength, endurance, balance and flexibility.

Tobogganning/Tubing
If you have ever slid down a snow-covered hill, you know what a rush it can be. Let us not forget the cardiovascular upside to the uphill trip – it is a great workout that will definitely get your heart pumping!

Build a Snowman
Be a kid again! Although building your very own Frosty is a time honoured fun family bonding experience, packing, rolling and lifting heavy wet snow will also work your back, arms and leg muscles.