Hammertime: Winter workouts can be hot or casual…but it is our choice of the action

Mike Rainone


I am sure that at this time of the year many of us will begin to wonder, how do we stay in shape over the long and cold Alberta winter?

With the festive season just around the corner, we will also soon be tempted by all sorts of sweet and culinary delights at staff parties and countless other jolly functions, which may also cause us to stray a little from our regular diet and exercise plans, as well as shying away from that daily visit to the scales.

Of course there are a great many of those faithful ‘fitness fanatics’ who will visit their local workout centres, turn on their favourite inspiration tunes, and tackle those fancy and challenging machines each and every day, while others will get out for a frosty run no matter what the weather conditions may be. There are also many great invigorating or casual outdoor and indoor winter sports and activities that offer a slim and trim diet of exercise and social interaction at our own choice and speed. Like so many others as seniors my wife and I love to head out into the great outdoors and enjoy a refreshing romp with nature, but when Old Man Winter hits we do have a tendency to turn into ‘couch potatoes’, while still trying to seek out other warm and comfy locations where we can knock off the calories and work out the occasional creaks, cramps, and stitches.

While many look forward to meeting old and new friends for a stroll through the shopping malls followed of course by coffee, others in condos, care centres, clubs, and special groups have organized their own enjoyable exercise and social sessions of sit-ups-squats-stretches, games, and all the rest. My wife and I have joined many others at the multi-recreation centres where you can do a slow but sure walk or jog around the in-door track, relax in the pool-hot tub or spa, go for a casual skate, shoot a few baskets, or take some special fitness courses, and all that can be fit into your own personal leisure calendar seven days a week.

You can’t help but get a real kick out of the young moms going through their workout paces accompanied by their babies in strollers on the track or on those fancy and bouncy floatables out in the pool. Many groups and organizations in all communities also organize countless winter activities for all ages in local facilities, including hockey-figure skating- curling and other lessons and activities at the Complex or Aquaplex, gymnastics, yoga, bowling, pickle ball, drama groups and dance classes, team drop in games up at the school gyms and church halls, being a volunteer, as well as all sorts of neat senior activities up at the Drop-In Centre, and so much more for families and individuals. There is absolutely no doubt that everyone can enjoy the opportunity of taking part in all sorts of activities of your choice during the coldest of winters, while still staying warm, comfortable, fit, and happy.

Now let’s enjoy a little fitness fun

• Aerobics is a series of strenuous exercises which help convert fat, sugars, and starches into aches, pains, and cramps, but if you stick with it, it will eventually feel great.

• The gym has no confidence in me…the first machine they put me on was a respirator. But what the heck, I may have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them up, and I guess that instead of having ‘buns of steel’ I’d rather have the cinnamon kind.

• After sweating a bunch and having a real tough workout at your local Fitness Centre or Exercise Club, just take a deep breath, put on your best Arnie Swartzenager face and bravely utter…I’LL BE BACK.

A great pre-Christmas family treat is the Klaglachachie Fine Arts Society’s delightful presentation of Once Upon a Mattress, which is playing until Dec. 10 at the Ponoka United Church, where tickets and times are available at the office or Phone 403-783-4087.

In the meantime keep enjoying this mild winter weather treat, get those outside decorations up, and have a great week, all of you.

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