Active In Minutes

Winter Solstice is right after this weekend. We’re in the darkest time of the year and this far north, that’s no joke.  If you work regular office hours, you may not see sunlight this time of year.  This can make it pretty hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed, let alone stay active and get outdoors.  There are also many social obligations that come with the holiday season, especially for those who have children, so that making time for exercise may not happen until the New Year.  So let’s talk about making the most of minutes to be active. 

silly walking
Silly Walks photo by Victoria Ose


If it takes 5 minutes to drive there, it will take 20 minutes or less to walk.  The extra time will be well-spent getting in some exercise, fresh air and de-stressing time.  Consider bringing someone along with you (like kids).  Walking is a great time for a conversation.  Kids also enjoy walking games like I-Spy or Silly Walks.  If you need the car, consider taking that parking spot that’s off in the boonies – you may actually save time by not circling around trying to find a closer spot! 

Body-weight Exercise

Your body and random furniture can be your gym if you get a little creative.  Consider doing triceps dips using the couch while watching TV, jumping jacks while you’re waiting for your meal to cook, or sit-ups and push-ups in bed before you go to sleep or after you wake up.  Lunges around the house or running up and down the stairs are other good ways to get some nervous energy out, and kids are often happy to join in if they think it’s a game. 

Visiting Friends and Family

Do something active instead of going for coffee or a meal with out-of-town friends and family.  Sneak in a walk as “window shopping”, try snow-shoeing or sturling.  Curling rinks and bowling clubs often serve meals too if someone needs to eat! 

Interval Training

Interval training, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT), is one of the new favorites for fitness training, since you can get amazing results with only 30 minutes a day.  If your gym doesn’t offer interval training, consider borrowing one of our Resource Centre DVDs – we have a wide selection to choose from! 

For more ideas and information, check out these free resources:

 - Couch Fitness Exercises YouTube Videos

 - Some bodyweight exercises

 - Exercising at home with kids