7 Ways to Stay Active During the Break

Tuesday November 30, 2021
Woman unrolling a yoga matt

In just a few short weeks, exams will be over and the Fall 2021 semester will have come to an end just as quickly as it began. The Campus Recreation team would like to thank you for a great semester. As we look to recharge and come back after the break full of energy, take a look at what we have to offer next semester. Although we may be tempted to lock ourselves inside our warm homes, scavenge our favourite junk food from the pantry, and station ourselves on the couch for a week-long Netflix binge, it’s important that we not only give ourselves a break, but a healthy one. Downtime between semesters is a must but remaining active is equally important to our physical and mental health. Here are our 10 favourite ways to stay active during the winter breaks:

 

  1. Winter sports

Come December, Ottawa turns into a winter wonderland with an incredible selection of winter activities to participate in, from skiing on the slopes, to playing hockey with friends, to making a snowman outside; and none more iconic in the nation’s capital than skating. From the outdoor refrigerated and beautifully lit “Rink of Dreams” in front of City Hall to the world’s largest skating surface right in the city center – the Rideau Canal – Ottawa has a truly spectacular selection of skating experiences to offer. If you’ve already had your fill of these two traditional staples, be sure to check out Lansdowne Skating Court, Rideau Hall, or Brewery Creek Skating Rink! Hoping to learn how to skate this Winter? Consider registering for one of our skating classes! Not one for the snow and cold? Why not try a new indoor activity like rock climbing, going to a trampoline park, visiting a smash room, or indoor swimming?

 

  1. Wear sport clothes

This point is more of a mental trick than an activity but wearing sports clothes in the house will put you in an active mindset and motivate you to get moving. Being prepared is the first step in completing any task, and whether it’s going for a run, heading to gym, or following a home workout program, this tip is sure to improve your consistency. It also doesn’t hurt to mention that sport clothes are super comfortable, so we don’t think you’ll mind making this wardrobe change.
 

  1. Dancing

It’s hard to argue dancing isn’t one of the most fun ways to stay active, and it’s definitely a plus that it involves no equipment other than your body, your soul, and your favourite playlist optional)! Not only does dancing allow you to express yourself and better enjoy your favorite music but it also benefits muscle tone, strength, endurance and overall fitness. It will only take you around 7 songs to get your 30 minute dance session, so go to your favourite room, put on your favourite tune, and dance like no one’s watching!

While you’re at it, why not consider registering for one of the many dance classes offered this coming Winter 2022 semester?

 

  1. Walk, shop, and track your daily steps on your phone

Walking has a really long list of benefits and has a huge positive impact on both mental and physical health. Luckily, you can take walks anywhere - alone, or with friends! So, weather and time permitting, it is highly recommended to walk instead of driving or using public transportation. Also, if you’re in Ottawa over the break, there are many beautiful places where you can enjoy a walk, including the Ottawa River Pathway, Major’s Hill Park, Hog’s Back Falls and Park, and the Rideau falls to name a few. Don’t forget to enjoy the spectacular views. If you’re spending the break outside of Ottawa, there are sure to be plenty of great options for taking a stroll in your city, just ask around or take to Google to get the scoop from local blogs!
 

Now we may have stated in point 3 that it’s hard to argue dancing isn’t one of the most fun ways to stay active, but we totally understand if your argument against this point stems from your love of shopping. The development of e-commerce has shifted an enormous proportion of sales from physical to digital, and although online shopping is convenient and saves you time, it also eliminates one of the most enjoyable reasons to take a walk. 

 

Smart phones nowadays do wonders. One of the most functional and useful features they offer is the ability to track the number of steps you take throughout the day. Step tracking is the easy way to monitor how sedentary you’re being throughout the day and is more likely to motivate you to make simple healthy choices, like taking the stairs over the elevator or getting up to stretch and move around every hour while working or studying. The average person should aim to get 10,000 steps in during their day, so set a phone reminder to work in some movement every hour and get tracking!
 

  1. Stretching

Stretching is not only one of the easiest activities to incorporate into your day, but also one of the most beneficial. Incorporating some easy and simple stretches into your routine will provide a wide range of health benefits, from improved circulation, posture, mobility and flexibility, to reduced stress, muscle tension, and risk of injury, amongst many others. You can stretch anywhere and anytime, so why not start with just a daily 10 minutes and observe the difference it makes in your day-to-day!

 

  1. Deep cleaning

Let’s be honest, the lead up to exams were tough and you might not have had time to exactly be your cleanest, most organized self. Your place could use some tender love and care, even if you’re not looking forward to it. On the bright side, deep cleaning your space or home is actually a great way to work some activity into your day. If you did manage to keep your space clean until the break, get creative and work some exercise into your day-to-day chores. For example, do some squats while doing your laundry! Your body will be sure to thank you for it!

 

  1. Volunteer as a dog walker

Are regular walks becoming too much of a routine? Why not add a four-footed furry companion into the mix? Whether for a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or the Humane Society, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer as a dog walker, an element of adorable fun into the mix of your scheduled stroll. In addition, you’ll be doing your community a service, and your new friend is sure to thank you too!