The snow hasn't quite delivered our skiing this year but it's still cold enough to put a lot of us off going outside. Last week in my "DO" article I discussed how beneficial it is to get out walking through the winter months and I'm hoping it's encouraged you to use up some shoe leather.
If you're still waiting for a better reason to stretch your legs, here's a few ideas of activities to keep you busy in the winter months.
1. Geocaching. This is a walk with purpose. Using your mobile phone or a GPS device, you follow co-ordinates to locate small treasure troves around the country. These can be small tubs, cylinders or boxes with a notepad to record your find. Sometimes they'll include a range of small toys for any kids on the trail. Etiquette suggests that if you remove an item from the box you replace it with something for the next person. (Erasers, stickers and small toys are perfect geocache fodder.) Anyone can leave or find a geocache. You can drive to many but you'll still have to rummage around to find it. Geocaching is free and a great way to get kids walking.
2. Indoor Climbing. Not the cheapest activity but tremendous fun. Try Avertical World or EICA at Ratho for a range of instructor guided sessions. You'll be safely supervised while you get the basics and may even learn to belay (hold the rope for another climber) if you're confident. Indoor climbing combines flexibility and strength to provide a great fun workout with plenty of rest as you watch your group mates tackle their climb, too. This is a great activity to do with a group of 4-6 people of all ages and could lead to a whole new hobby! If you don't fancy the ropes, you can always turn your hand (and foot!) to bouldering. It's like climbing but without the heights. You'll be much closer to the ground and no ropes are needed.
3. Tidepooling. Wrap up warm and wear sturdy shoes. Tidepooling is studying the flora and fauna that lives in coastal rock pools. You'll need to check the tides, weather and daylight hours first so don't promise kids you're going until you've googled it! Go when the tide is out so you can see what gets left behind. This is a great activity for any age with plenty of gruesome finds for little kids and nature studies for the rest of us. Spend enough time on the beach and you'll definitely deserve those fish'n'chips.
4. Indoor Skating. What a great way to get fit. Skating is great fun and will improve your stamina, balance and co-ordination. It's not too expensive even when you hire boots and if you check in advance how long the rink is open for you'll probably have enough time in one session to see and feel improvement on the ice. The Dundee Ice Arena is a great place to start.
Imagine sprinting into Spring with energy and a new hobby. There’s no reason why you can’t up your fitness levels in the winter time, with or without the snow.