Maximize Winter workouts with cross training

If the Farmer’s Almanac predictions for winter 2019 are to be believed, we are in for a long, cold winter with above average snow fall. This can be disheartening for runners who rely on the outdoors to get in the majority of their mileage. Ice and heavy snowfall may make for lousy running conditions, but maybe they are just the opportunity you need to explore some new winter cross training options. Staying active outside through the winter can help you embrace the season and boost your mood through physical activity.

Here are four excellent winter cross training options that are a great fit for Manitobans. Remember that the more active you can stay throughout the winter, the easier it will be to get a strong stride going again in the spring. Happy cross training!

Cross Country Skiing: This should be the number one pick for runners. Not only do the motions and the muscle use repeat what your body already does as a runner, it is an amazing low impact cardio that will let you explore the beauty that is Manitoba in the winter. Getting started: Visit the Windsor Park Nordic Centre for an excellent introduction. With rentals and lessons on site, you will be off to a great start. If that doesn’t sufficiently entice you, they have a cappuccino machine in house for a coffee or hot chocolate when you finish. www.windsorparknordic.ca

Snowshoeing: Another full body cardio activity ideal for cross training, snowshoeing also repeats what your body has already learned as a runner. It takes some skill to initially get the hang of it, but you will fall in love with the challenge of it and the workout quality you get for the time. Getting started: FortWhyte Alive has over seven kilometres of trails throughout the property and provides on site equipment rentals. You can also watch their Events Calendar for guided and family adventures. www.fortwhyte.org

Ice Skating: With the abundance of local community club rinks in and around Winnipeg as well as our amazing Red River Mutual Trail system, you would be crazy to not get in on this. As a sweetener for the deal, you get a chance to check out the Warming Huts: an international art and architecture competition, it attracts projects from around the world.  Getting Started: The trail starts in the River-Osborne area and extends past the Forks reaching just past the legislature building. If you need equipment, skates can be rented from Iceland Skate Rentals at the Forks.

Swimming: When all else fails, take it inside. Swimming is a low impact, highly effective cardio workout that will keep you moving even if the weather is trying to stop you. No equipment needed other than a bathing suit. Getting started: Your easiest path to a lap lane is finding a public swim time at your nearest public pool and check out their free swim schedule. If you are more