Exercise and the City
Working out is the last thing on the minds of busy parents but ITaV is here to help incorporate exercise into your daily routine by utilizing places that already exist in our great city.
Fall is the perfect season to get out and get active so take advantage while you can!
Keeping up with a regular exercise routine can seem like a next to impossible task for busy parents. And for most of us, a lack of time, low energy & motivation, and a tight budget tend to be the main culprits keeping us from working out routinely. But believe it or not the city offers many simple outdoor solutions that are available at any time, adaptable to your fitness level, and almost completely free - everything that's keeping you from your fitness goals! Whether you are looking to start small, or go big and train for a race, it's definitely still possible while raising a family, and Hamilton can help you make it happen. With a variety of options and the not too hot weather of autumn, there's never been a better time to get out and get moving!
Did you know that many Hamilton parks and trails have circuit training signs installed for you to follow along with? Whether it's squats, lunges, sit ups, or jumping jacks, they depict how to do each exercise as well as how long to do each one before you move on to the next. You can even make a game of it with the kids and have them complete the circuit with you. While they continue to play on the slides and monkey bars you can throw in step ups, tricep dips, or push ups on a park bench. You can add quick bursts of cardio by racing the kids from bench to bench or playing tag. Simply playing and “being a kid” can burn huge calories. For some ideas on parks to head to for some exericse with the family check out ITaV's top parks listed here and here
Did you know that Hamilton has an abundance of trails for public use? Many of these trails are fairly flat terrain and some even include waterfalls. It is the perfect opportunity to explore nature and get your heart pumping. A fun place for parents and kids alike is Eramosa Karst on Upper Mount Albion Rd in Stoney Creek. This conservation area boasts 3 trail loops in various lengths and contains sink holes and bat caves. The kids will love following the trail markers, playing eye spy, and searching for bats and other animals. Big bonus, this trail is fairly stroller friendly! Small downside is you'll need to bring some change to pay for parking. For a list of more local trails and waterfalls click here. If you need a little more motivation download a pedometer app for your phone and track your steps as you go. It can become a fun game of trying to beat your steps from the day before. As an additional bonus you might also surprise yourself with how much you have been moving throughout the day doing regular household chores - great motivation to keep going (and cleaning!).
Did you know that Hamilton has 5 sets of stairs located across the edge of the Escarpment? How many stairs are we talking about? Chedoke-289 steps, Dundurn- 326, James St-227, Wentworth St,- 498, Kenilworth -229. The stairs are a great place to increase your cardio and build muscle while enjoying a natural setting. When first beginning the feat of taking on this many stairs just making it to the top is a true accomplishment but not necessarily something you want to take on with kids. There is nothing to say that you have to though, when kids are in tow you can race them up short sections at a time. If taking the whole family the adults can take turns completing the climb and playing with the kids. At the Chedoke stairs there is a waterfall at the top and a park right across the street to entertain them while you get fit.
There you have it! You really don’t have to spend hours at the gym or hire a personal trainer to get in some exercise! If you utilize the natural surroundings the city has to offer and make it part of your family routine, you'll be well on your way to a more active you!