If you are a follower of my blog (btw, you are awesome) or know me in person, you would know that I have a passion for running. However, I have not made myself to be an outdoor runner in the Canadian winter.

I struggle with asthma, and although it has definitely improved over the years, the cold weather can cause it to flair up. Exercising outdoors during that is just not a good combination.   One of the reasons I love running in the spring/summer/fall is because I get to enjoy the outdoor scenery.  Staying in one spot and running on a treadmill at my gym does not provide the same sensory stimulation that outdoor running does. So I’ve been switching it up a bit with my fitness routine recently and have been trying some new activities. Cross training can also benefit my running performance.  Here are my thoughts on some new activities I’ve tried recently:

Cycling
I am really enjoying the RPM classes offered at my gym. Part of the reason I love running is because you can make your own goals and go at your own pace. I feel that these classes reflect running in that way – you can defiantly individualize your workout by adjusting the resistance setting on your stationary bike. I also LOVE the music that is played during the class. Music serves as a great motivator for me.

Swimming
I worked as a lifeguard and was on my high schools swim team but I have not kept up with swimming since then.  However within the last two years I have rediscovered my love for this. Swimming is such a great whole body workout, which I need to do more of. I also like that it is a low impact sport and easy on your joints – compared to running which is very high impact and repetitive, making runners prone to injury. Nothing beats the refreshing feeling after a 30-40 minute swim. I also make sure I hit up the hot tub at the end of my swim – what a treat.

Rowing
As mentioned above, I need to make my workouts more well-rounded, as running obviously largely focuses on the legs. I’ve been using the rowing machine at my gym – such a great resistance and cardio workout as well! Rowing is great for your arms/back/shoulders, along with your abs! I usually just go for 10-15 minutes, but I’ve been noticing a difference!

Squash
I tried squash out with my housemate for the first time today! I was satisfied with the workout I got, considering we are both beginners. It took a bit to get a good rally going but when we got one going ohhh we moved! I have to remember to stretch/warm up before the next time I play though, with all the stop and go sprint movements squash requires.

Rock Climbing
I’ve gone rock climbing twice before – what a cool way to exercise! Originally I thought it would be mostly a strength workout but I didn’t realize it would provide me with some cardio too! I can’t wait to try this one again.

ACTIVITIES I WANT TO TRY

Aerial Yoga
Basically yoga in the air with the help of fabric hammock. How cool does this look? I found out that a yoga studio in my city offers these classes – definitely getting done in the near future.
aerial yoga

Volleyball Team
I really enjoyed playing beach volleyball last summer and will likely do it again this summer. However for the winter I want to look into indoor leagues that are available. My favorite part of beach volleyball was fearlessly diving in the sand to dig  for the ball, so I will have to learn to be a bit less reckless with an indoor league as the playing surfaces are much different…
beach vball
Our beach team this past summer!

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