By Tori Taylor, November 7 2019 —
Nothing beats outdoor running, hiking and cycling when it comes to exercising. We live in a place with easy access to breathtaking mountain terrain. During the warmer months of the year it is not hard to motivate yourself to stay in shape — grab a buddy and head out for a weekend hike. Tying up running shoes and taking off down a river path doesn’t take a lot of convincing. But when the air starts to pierce your soul and freeze the whites of your eyes — nobody wants to haul ass in a full Michelin Man suit.
There are lots of ways to stay active during the winter that won’t break your student budget. While it is warm outside, using parks and pathways is free. But once it turns cold, it can be stressful to purchase gym memberships or pay workout class drop-in fees.
The University of Calgary has a great gym facility and the membership is included in your student fees if you are a full-time student. The gym gives you access to an indoor track, treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and a room full of weight-lifting equipment. Because most students already have passes and don’t need to pay extra to use the space, you can workout with your friends on-campus. You won’t be able to talk yourself out of working out nearly as convincingly if you’ve already paid for the membership and you don’t even need to leave the school. Drop in to the gym before or after classes to get your sweat on without having to freeze outside.
If you are not someone who loves going to the gym or prefers working out alone, then there are plenty of at-home workouts you can do. Using the internet to look up specific styles of workouts is simple and free. You can look up quick glute-based circuits. You can find 15–30 minute workouts that require nothing except for you to be up and off the couch. You might want to set a goal to accomplish a 15-minute workout in your own bedroom on a regular schedule. It may be effective to use your Netflix time to pound out a few push-ups or sit-ups for the first 5 minutes of every new episode. Perhaps you can do 20 mountain-climbers everytime Joey meets a new girl or 15 burpees whenever Michael says something politically incorrect.
Winter may feel like it stretches on forever in Calgary. But you don’t have to let that hold you back from staying healthy and strong. You can easily stay in good physical shape without having to bundle up or brave the icy streets. An indoor track is no match for an evening run along the river, but you can make it work. Plaster a vividly-scenic poster up in your bedroom and dead-stare it as you sweat your body’s temperature back into the range of hot summer’s day. Same, same but different.