Okay, so you are a resident in Niagara Falls or you plan on visiting here over the Holidays, and you know that you will overeat. If you are like me, you like to stay fit and active year round. I don’t have a gym membership, so I head outdoors for workouts. If you find it hard to stay motivated when the temperature plummets below zero, here are 5 fun ways to stay fit outdoors in Niagara Falls over the holidays:
TD Rink at the Brink:
Torch some calories at this open-air, outdoor ice skating rink located literally feet away from the gorgeous views offered by the Horseshoe Falls. Open from December 1 to February 28, 2014 (excluding Christmas Day), the Winter Festival of Light’s TD Rink at the Brink is adjacent to the Table Rock Welcome Centre at 6650 Niagara Parkway. This is a fantastic way to stay fit with the entire family outdoors in Niagara Falls, while having fun doing it. You may bring your own skates, but there is also skate, helmet and locker rentals available. The price is inexpensive at only $8.00/Adult (including tax) and children aged 6 and younger are FREE when accompanied by a paying adult. Skate rentals at $5.00 + tax and $1.00 for a locker rentals. Helmet rentals are free.
For dates and hours click here.
Keep an eye on this events calendar for specific days that are completely free to skate, care of TD Rink at the Brink and in support of Project Share. Non-perishable food or cash donations are greatly appreciated during the holiday season. For more information contact: 905 353-1134 OR 374-1616 x. 240 (WFOL office).
*Above: Myself after a snowy Winter race last year*– I love to run!! LOL
I love, love, LOVE to run outdoors! Nothing beats getting out there on a cold Winter’s day when the snow has just freshly fallen, for a little cardio warm up! Provided you dress warmly for the occasion (I wear 3 jackets, 2 pairs of gloves, my tried and true pair of Lululemon Winter running tights and something to cover my ears, wool socks and (of course) a great pair of Winter running shoes, than why not?? I swear that once you get past the initial hurdle of getting motivated to get out in the cold, you will be glad that you did. A good Winter running shoe is vital for a safe run — you don’t want to be slipping and sliding on ice and through snow. I found a Runner’s World article that gives some solid choices in Winter running shoe selections. Click here to check out it out.
My favourite, most peaceful and scenic place to run outdoors in Niagara Falls is along the Niagara River Recreation Trail. It is 56 kilometres of generally flat surface. For a more challenging run, there’s nothing like running up and down Clifton Hill to add some hills to your workout. I usually finalize my run with this — and then reward myself with a cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s at the peak of the Hill when I’m done. 🙂
Who said it was just for kids? Sledding can burn up to 450 calories per hour, mostly done by trudging uphill, sled in tow. Here are some places in Niagara Falls to grab the family and take advantage of the snow — while getting a workout in as well!
1. Stamford Collegiate High School: 5775 Drummond Road, Niagara Falls.
2. Firemen’s Park: 2275 Dorchester Rd, Niagara Falls.
3. *For smaller kids* FH Leslie Park: 5250 Valley Way, Niagara Falls.
Above: *Photo taken during a peaceful walk through Queen Victoria Park*
Walking and hiking in the Winter can produce great health benefits without straining your hip, knee and ankle joints — and just like running, all you need is the proper Winter shoes and gear. While finding a place outdoors in Niagara Falls to go for a walk is plentiful — you can do it anywhere — it’s a little more difficult to find a location to go for a hike. The Niagara Region website has compiled an extensive list of not only Niagara Falls areas to hike, but the entire Niagara Region as well. While some options are best suited to Summer or Fall weather, many options are terrific for the Winter months as well. Check out the list by clicking here.
An added incentive to take an after dinner stroll in Niagara Falls? The Winter Festival of Lights! Why not get some exercise while checking out one of Canada’s best festival Christmas light shows? Take some photos, burn some calories and take in the beauty of this festival from November 9th, 2013 to January 31, 2014. Lights are dispersed throughout the Niagara Parkway, Queen Victoria Park and the beautiful Dufferin Islands.
Head to the Great Canadian Midway (Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls)
Meh, okay I cheated on this one — but it’s still an excellent way to stay fit during the Winter months anyhow. The Great Canadian Midway is 70,000 square feet of over 300+ games to choose from, many requiring you to be physically active (such as “In the Groove”), and it’s a great way for the whole family to stay fit over the Christmas Holidays. The beautiful part is that the arcade stays open until 2:00am every day of the year! If playing video games doesn’t please you, head upstairs to Strike Rock N Bowl for a game of bowling! A 150 lb. person can burn up to 215 calories per hour bowling…roughly the same amount as a small sliver of chocolate cake you devoured over that Christmas dessert. 😉
So, there’s a small list of a few ways to stay fit outdoors in Niagara Falls this Holiday season. Feel free to share any other ways that you choose to stay active outdoors during the cold, Winter months. I’d love to hear them!