Few things are as invigorating as getting outside on a crisp, sunny Canadian winter afternoon, wouldn't you agree? And it's important to get out there while the day is bright as darkness falls early and not enough sunlight can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And when our skin is not exposed to the sun long enough to sufficiently manufacture vitamin D, we end up with deficiencies in this most important vitamin! In Canada, nearly one million people suffer from SAD. So rather than be sad (pun intended), pull on your warmest winter gear and get your booty outside. You'll be joyous you did.
Here are five winter workouts to boost your mood, burn some fat and most importantly, put a smile on your face!
1. Light jog or power walk for a minimum of 30-60 minutes: Experts suggest that you should do minimum of 60 minutes of exercise everyday. If that seems like a lot, I bet that once you get out there you'll feel so refreshed you'll keep going for 60. Try a lunchtime power walk.
2. Walking lunges: If you want to kick your light jog or power walk up a notch, then do walking lunges at the end of your jog/walk. They are fantastic for achieving what I like to call a "perky bum" and strong legs and they are great for the hamstrings and quadriceps. Do 15 lunges forward and then back and again. As you get stronger, bump it up to 20.
3. Play hockey: It's an amazing cardiovascular workout, wow! The few times I've joined my nephews playing street hockey, I was wiped after 10 minutes. Not only does it burn calories, but it really trains your core and balance. So for me, it was a humbling experience as I like to think my fitness level is pretty good -- until my nephews put me to shame.
4. Skating: You can burn up to 450 calories per hour skating depending on how fast you go. I fell in love with skating all over again when I was in New York City for the holidays one year. There's something completely magical about it - whether it's at the park near your house or Rockefeller Square, strap on those skates!
5. Hiking: Journeying through the great outdoors can be a hugely enjoyable and fun winter activity. There are literally hundreds of hiking trails in every province across Canada. All you need are some good hiking shoes or boots, warm clothes and you are good to go. Hiking can burn a whopping 500 calories per hour. Don't forget your camera because you never know what you might see deep in the bush.