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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The top 10 ways to stay fit this winter in Toronto

winter fitness torontoThe top ways to stay fit this winter will (hopefully) encourage you to step away from the Netflix and get your body moving. Whether it's a brand-new gym to test out or a new spin on a favourite outdoor winter sport, these activities will help you get through the winter without putting on the extra turkey-and-stuffing-pounds.

Here are my picks for the top ways to stay fit this winter in Toronto.

Hop on (a) board

When the water has frozen over and there's no surfing or any other kind of water-based activity to be had, you can still mimic the waves on your board at Surfset, located on Yonge just north of Eglinton. With a board that's balanced on three stability balls, you'll have to use all your muscles to keep yourself from tumbling over.

Go for a spin

While some Torontonians scoff at the thought of putting away their bikes come snow, others wouldn't dare take a spin on the icy roads. That doesn't mean you have to get out of cycling shape in the winter though - with plenty of spinning options around the city, you can keep fit for when it's time to make the rubber meet the road once again.

Hit the sand

If you miss heading to the beach to play volleyball in the summer, then trying some indoor beach volleyball this winter may be just what you need. With several of Toronto's indoor volleyball facilities holding actual sand, you can still pretend that it's warm out (and it gives you a soft landing for when you feel like leaping for the ball).

Get competitive

If you're looking for an unconventional competitive sport to try out this winter, then roller derby may be just what you need. Toronto Roller Derby, which operates out of Downsview Park, boasts the largest flat-track derby league in Canada. And while the teams are all-female, the men in your life are free to come watch and see how badass you can really be.

Head to boot camp

Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can't still work towards your fitness goals. With a number of year-round boot camps still operating around the city, you can pick one that's best for you, whether you're working towards a specific goal, or just looking for an effective way to stay fit year-round.

Sweat it out

When you're outside in the epically cold Canadian winter, does anything sound better than being in a toasty, relaxing environment? A great way to stay fit (and warm) is to try out some hot yoga - guaranteed to help you sweat out all that holiday eating. If you want to try somewhere new, Yoga Tree at Bay and Dundas and Union Yoga offer hot yoga classes.

Take a hike

Get out of the slushy downtown core this winter, strap on some snowshoes and head to one of Toronto's wonderful trails. In the summer, these paths are great for getting out and getting exercise and when the snow falls you can still make the trek - just bundle up warm!

Lace up your skates

If you're already slippin' and slidin' away on the icy sidewalks, might as well throw on some skates and head to one of the city's rinks. A new one is heading for Regent Park, slated to open early in the New Year, but other popular options like Nathan Philips Square are great for gliding off the calories. If you're looking for something a little more private, gather up a group of friends and rent your own rink.

Climb a wall

While you may not be able to scale any ice walls in Toronto, sometimes it's nice to get out of the city to explore the great outdoors. Just a short drive away, Ancaster not only offers up some great scenery, but also ice climbing (like rock climbing...but on get the picture). Using picks and special shoes, you'll have to use your whole body strength to climb, which makes for a total body workout.

Go dashing through the snow

The avid runners out there may not blink an eye at the thought of an outdoor run in the winter, but for the rest of us, it just seems like cruel and unusual punishment. If you're lacking running motivation in the winter, sign up for some of the city's running events in the upcoming months to hold you accountable to your cold-weather training.

toyota corollaDid I miss any? Leave your favourite winter fitness ideas in the comments.

Writing by Chynna Wilson. Photo by Alex Indigo via the blogTO Flickr pool.

by Staff via blogTO

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