Outdoor recreation is so good for the body and the soul - especially in winter! Studies have shown that we feel energized and happier when we spend time outdoors, no matter the season.
But with much of Canada under some form of pandemic lockdown, not all winter outdoor activities are allowed or accessible right now. The good news? There’s still so much you can do outdoors in your own community, no matter the weather!
To inspire us all to log-off and get outside, we’ve compiled a list of 12 winter activities you can do in lockdown:
...if you’re close to snow:
If it gets cold enough where you live (which is probably 95% of Canada!), outdoor ice skating is an accessible and physically distanced outdoor activity that is super Canadian. Just make sure the ice is actually thick enough to skate on. If in doubt, check with local authorities.
Downhill ski hills are out of reach for many Canadians who are being asked to restrict non-essential travel. That said, there could be areas near you perfect for cross-country skiing (which is a better workout, anyway!).
Cheaper than cross-country skiing and easier than ice-skating, snowshoeing is a novel and practical way to explore in the snow that’s appropriate for the whole family.
Want the downhill thrill of skiing or snowboarding, without the chairlifts? Try tobogganing to feel like a kid again.
If you’re close to the ocean:
The surf in Canada is just as good (if not better) in the winter, when storms bring in bigger waves. With a thick enough wetsuit, you can get out on the water any time of year.
Paddleboarding and kayaking
Keeping your distance is no problem when you have a paddle in hand! If you want to try winter paddleboarding, wear a thick wetsuit in case of falls.
If you don’t want to actually get in the water, you can still enjoy the ocean with a leisurely walk or hike along the water’s edge. Look in tidal pools, search for sea glass, or collect the treasure (or trash) that washes up.
...anywhere in Canada:
Canada is blessed with a crazy amount of natural beauty - from the coastal mountains to the prairies, to the arctic. With 48 national parks and over 1000 provincial and territorial parks, chances are there’s a place near you worth exploring on foot this winter. The key to a successful winter hike? Be prepared. Dress in warm, waterproof layers, pack for emergencies, bring nutrient-dense snacks (like Rumble Supershake!) and of course, pack a hot cocoa to enjoy at the end.
Just because it’s cold and wet out, doesn’t mean you can’t run! To transition to winter running: wear layers, make sure your shoes have a good tread, and give yourself a longer period to warm-up your lungs before taking off.
It’s really not as bad as it sounds. With the right gear and preparation, winter camping is a super rewarding way to explore the outdoors and get literally distant from the rest of us. Just be sure to check with your local parks to find out if winter camping is available near you this year.
Dining Al Fresco
There's no better way to feel cozy and warm up outdoors than with a hot meal or drink. We’re also pretty sure it’s a universal rule that everything tastes better when you cook it outside! If your local regulations allow it, try cooking over a fire or bringing a camp stove or portable BBQ for your next adventure. As a shortcut, you can also pre-heat soup, chilli, or a warm drink and pack it in a thermos.
Wherever you live in Canada, there's no excuse for staying indoors all winter long. Take advantage of the new restrictions by trying something new, getting out of your comfort zone, and exploring the great outdoors. Whatever you do, dress warm, pack for emergencies, stay safe, and #feedthegood.