The snow will be with us for weeks to come, and it would be a shame to miss out on the benefits of winter. Whatever the season, it is important not to isolate yourself, stay active, enjoy the fresh air, the light, and the sun. Here are some examples of winter activities to do alone or in a group, and have fun!
Enjoy the end of winter safely
Be well-equipped for winter
First and foremost, to enjoy winter in complete safety, it is crucial to be adequately equipped. Coat, hat, scarf, mittens, and slip-resistant boots, choose clothes appropriate for the outdoor temperature, and use fall-prevention equipment. Don’t hesitate to buy crampons you can adapt to your boots!
Warming up and stretching: the essentials
Don't forget to prepare your body by warming up before your walk. Back, legs, ankles, hips, knees, spend about ten minutes doing some simple exercises. After your warm-up, don't hesitate to stretch. This allows the muscles and tendons to get into action. Taking care of your muscles and joints before any physical activity is essential. In winter, especially when walking in the snow, you move on uneven ground, which mobilizes the pelvis, ankles, and knees. Warming up goes a long way in avoiding making a wrong move.
Similarly, don't forget to stretch after your activity. This often neglected step is essential. Stretching replaces the muscles contracted during the sporting activity and induces the secretion of endorphins, the hormones relieving pain and helping relax. They are called happiness hormones for a reason!
Eat well before exercising
Last but not least, don't go skiing, snowshoeing, or even hiking in the cold on an empty stomach. Also, take a backpack in which you will have a thermos filled with a hot drink, as well as a cereal bar, convenient to eat without taking off your gloves. It will keep your energy level up. Don't hesitate to treat yourself to a small snack after the effort. You deserve it!
Walk in the snow
Once you are all equipped, walk! Walking in the snow is an exercise in itself. It requires effort, but it's so much fun. Embrace the playfulness and make it a pleasant experience. With your partner, friends, or family, take a walk in the park and do some simple exercises, such as walking with your knees up, shifting speeds, or making swinging motions with your arms.
The benefits of walking are numerous, especially in terms of joint care and keeping the circulatory system healthy.
Observe the animals
If you're a contemplative person, you'll enjoy watching the animals on a winter walk or snowshoe hike. At Domaine Saint-Bernard, in Mont-Tremblant, you can even feed the birds by buying seeds that meet their needs. They will eat right out of the palm of your hand!
At the heart of Outaouais, at Centre touristique du Lac-Simon, you will have the opportunity to visit the white-tailed deer. What better activity than to contemplate these magnificent animals in their natural habitat?
Put on your snowshoes
Snowshoeing is accessible to everyone, but it is nevertheless a demanding activity mobilizing knee joints and leg muscles. Once again, be sure to warm up and bring a snack and a warm drink. It is the ideal activity to share with your grandchildren during school break.
You will also enjoy the Réserve faunique des Laurentides, located 50 km (31 miles) from Quebec City, which offers a vast protected territory and many trails to practice snowshoeing.
Try cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing, like snowshoeing, is an endurance sport accessible to all. It is possible to enjoy this sport without climbing or descending slopes, which can be hazardous.
The Plains of Abraham, in Quebec City, is a perfect example. You can even rent skis or take lessons, but above all, you can slide in the tracks of a large flat terrain and skiing safely.
Mobility issues? Enjoy fresh air
You have mobility issues? Don’t deprive yourself from the joys of winter. Don't forget that it is essential to be exposed to natural light regularly to refill your body with vitamin D, a crucial ally for good bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis.
Here's how you can enjoy the fresh, invigorating air while doing something fun. Why not invite your friends over, dress warmly, open the window, put on your sunglasses, and enjoy the sun and winter light? Make these moments regular appointments of shared joy!
The Ice Hotel, a must-see winter visit
For a must-see winter visit, go to the famous Ice Hotel in Quebec City. This unique architectural work, the only one in America opens every winter. You can visit it or even spend a night there if you are not sensitive to cold. Either way, it's an experience you'll remember. You can contemplate the rooms, suites, slide, chapel, and sip a cocktail served in a glass made of ice!
Although it is wise to avoid going out in icy conditions or extreme temperatures, it is still possible to enjoy winter safely. Quebec offers so many opportunities: walking, nature observation, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing... dress warmly and enjoy!
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