The holiday season is long since over, your bank account has dwindled, and somehow, the numbers on your bathroom scale have increased.
Like most of us, you probably made a new year’s resolution to keep your family and yourself fit. But, what are the options in the winter in Winnipeg on a reduced budget? Fortunately, there are free exercise opportunities available to all.
Outdoor fun abounds. At Kildonan Park, there are winter slides, groomed cross-country ski trails, and an outdoor skating rink. These are open daily to the public. Red River Community Center offers three outdoor rinks for hockey and pleasure skating.
February weather can sometimes be frightful. Luckily, free indoor activities are plentiful as well. Both Old Exhibition and Billy Mosienko arenas offer free indoor skating several times a week.
If you long to shed your winter clothing, Seven Oaks Indoor Pool offers free swimming on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility also offers a free swim on Sundays from 4 to 5 p.m.
Finally, the Winnipeg Public Library offers a large selection of exercise DVDs, for those who prefer to exercise in the comfort of their own homes.
It’s important to keep the kids off the couch and get them moving. Seven Oaks Pool offers a youth swim on Friday evenings. The North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility also offers free youth swims on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. James Nesbitt School invites teens to get fit and socialize every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at its Youth Action Centre. A free children’s drop-in program is available at Governor Semple School on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Exercise opportunities for seniors are also plentiful. Mall walking is a safe alternative to walking icy streets. The North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility offers free chair, mat, and stretching exercises on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 9:30 a.m. The Seven Oaks Senior Link offers free classes for all levels of fitness at different locations several times a week. Classes are offered at St. Anne’s Church (Burrin and Aikens) on Tuesdays, at Maples Community Centre on Thursdays, and at St Joseph’s Church (Jefferson and Main) on Fridays. The start time at each location is 10:30 a.m. Line dancing is also available at Maples Community Centre on Thursdays at 2 p.m.
It can be challenging to keep fit during Winnipeg’s long winter months, however there really are no excuses. This winter let’s try to keep that new year’s resolution. Get off the couch and get moving.
Joanne O’Leary is a Riverbend-based writer.
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