Photo cred - Stephane
Cold winds, an awful lot of frozen precipitation, and very short days all combine to make winter the worst season to get outdoors and be active. Being forced inside and walking barely anywhere (lest you freeze your face) pretty much causes all of us to pack on some "winter padding," even during this (thus far) mild winter.
For the dedicated, the answer is just to hit the gym. For those of us less inclined to be packed into a small space with a bunch of sweaty bros, our options are a little more limited during the winter, or so you may think.
Just because its a little cold to go outside doesn't mean you can't start training for events and fitness goals now. Team In Training, a combo coaching service & charity fundraiser, can help you get there with one of their many fitness regimens, all of which help to fund blood cancer research. We've included a few of their programs in the list ahead, along with some Montreal-specific ideas, all of which will make sure you can stay physically active this winter.
Train For A Marathon
Becoming fit enough to run a marathon or half-marathon is a goal many of us have, and not one we'd think to accomplish during the winter, if ever. Getting into marathon-mode is a long process though, and starting in the winter is actually a good call, so you're ready to go for the spring/summer running season. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada's Team In Training program will help get you to the finish line. TNT offers a 4-5 month marathon training program that includes hands-on coaching, specialized clinics and guaranteed race entry into many sold out events. Best of all, with Team In Training, you will help raise money for blood cancer research, making your finish line mean so much more!
Not all outdoor fitness activities are outside the realm of possibilities during the winter. Take skating for example. While many see skating as a leisure activity, it's important to note that gliding on the ice will actually burn twice as many calories as walking, which is saying something if you go for a 45min-1h skating sesh. Besides, you should probably capitalize on the many skating rink the city offers anyways. Feel free to disguise this fitness oppurtunity as a fun family event or date, to help get your loved ones a bit more active too.
Be An Ironman (or Woman)
Want bragging rights for the rest of your life? Become an Ironman! No, not the superhero (though becoming Tony Stark/RDJr would be magical), though this athletic competition will surely get you in Avengers-level shape.
Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles. No big deal right? Ironman events are widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world and Team In Training can help get you to the finish line of an Ironman 70.3 or full ironman 140.6.
No matter how you place, by the end of the race, you'll be in peak physical condition, and will definitely have bragging rights for the rest of your life.
Team In Training's preparation regimen offers qualified coaches that will train you in all aspects of the Ironman course, along with free entry into the Ironman Mont-Tremblant 70.3 and 140.6 races. The best part, you will also help raise money for blood cancer. It doesn't get much better than that!
Photo cred -
Hit The Ski Slopes
Both skiing and snowboarding are quite the full body workout. A six hour session can burn up thousands of calories, all while toning up your stomach, legs, and even your upper body as you cruise down the slope. All the crouching and bending will also ensure your gluteal muscles get all toned, making for a Beyonce-level booty. Don't skip out on your friend group's next ski/snowboard adventure, because you'll be losing out on a serious fitness opportunity.
Walk Up The Mountain
Sure, the summer time may make for an easier stroll up Mount Royal, but "easy" isn't exactly a welcome word when you're talking fitness. Mount Royal becomes the perfect place to get fit at a more leisurely pace during the winter, though the walk will still burn up some calories and tone you up a bit. All the slippery paths will ensure your balancing skills are worked out (and all the little muscles that help do that), while the light incline makes sure your legs are being strained in the good way. If the mountain isn't your style, walking in general is still a good call, and you can even join a Montreal group dedicated to keeping citizens strolling all year round. Check out the link below.
Train For A Triathlon
Swimming, biking, and running combine in the ultimate test of physical fitness otherwise known as a triathlon. Sounds like a pretty big commitment, and it won't be easy, but Team In Training can help you get triathlon-ready. First timers and seasoned vets are welcome to sign up for the 4-6 month training regimen, which will ensure you're ready to hit the bike path/swimming pool/running course once the big race starts. If you truly want to get super fit this winter, training for a triathlon is all you need to do.
Photo cred - enroutecanada.com
Head To Parc Jean-Drapeau
Piknic Electronik, Osheaga, and all the other summer festivals may be long gone, though that doesn't mean that Parc Jean-Drapeau doesn't have tons of fun to offer you, many of which will help get you in shape. Offered all throughout the winter season is snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skating, and even dogsled rides which will all fill the fitness void in your life. Okay, maybe no dogsledding, but that's just plain cool and something you should do anyway.
Take A Dance Class
Although many may argue, learning to dance is always a good idea for more than just saturday nights. Dancing is a great cardiovascular, stretch & strengthening workout and one that goes under the radar at times. Montreal is home to many dance schools around the city, but not all offer adult classes. Regardless of your age, LATmontreal.dance (L.A.T), located at Les Ateliers Turcotte studio in the heart of the Monkland Village in NDG has a class for the appropriate age group. From recreational to semi-professional, L.A.T's instructors are all certified specializing in Ballet, Essentrics, Contemporary Jazz, Tap and even Yoga. With upgraded services including a brand new dance floor and a welcoming staff and atmosphere, put on your dancing shoes and make your way over for a workout this winter!
Photo cred - activeleisurecontracts
Become A Rugby Player
Like many field sports, the game of rugby can be played, and trained for, indoors, making the game a viable fitness option in winter. The Westmount Rugby Club, which happens to be the oldest active rugby club in North America, holds both indoor tournaments and training sessions during the winter months, with games held for men, women, and juniors. A rookie session is even being planned for those who have no idea how to play the game. Head to the official website below to see how you can get in shape while playing rugby this winter.
Photo cred - Emily Leclerc
Get Fit With Pole Dancing
Before you say anything, dispel your mind of any negative associations (i.e. strip clubs) you have with pole dancing, because the classes held at Montreal's Milan Pole Dance Studio are all about getting fit while having fun. A combination of dance, gymnastics, and acrobatics, pole dancing provides the physical benefits of all three, as your body literally needs to use all of its muscles to get off the ground on a pole. All classes are taught by internationally renowned instructors in a safe and supportive fitness environment where you will definitely see results.