Ah, Canadian Winter.
The snow, the sleet, the hail, the slush.
It truly is a beautiful season.
It’s January, and it is cold out there. For many Canadians that means outdoor sports!
Skiing and snowboarding are popular, and with Wentworth just 30 minutes away, it’s a great way to experience the great outdoors and get moving. Or why not cross-country ski? Paths in Victoria Park are the perfect place for a relaxing trek through gorgeous scenery – just stay away from Jacob’s Ladder in your ski boots! Snowshoeing is a great way of experiencing Canada’s iconic winters – why not explore nearby Mi’kmawey trail in a traditional First Nations fashion? Downtown Truro’s outdoor rink is a perfect place to practice your ice skating, or even the RECC’s open skates, when the weather’s a little too cold.
Winter has never stopped Canadians from enjoying our beautiful natural surroundings. The sting of fresh air on your face makes you feel alive! The spruce and fir trees laden with snow and dripping with glittering icicles make you grateful to be Nova Scotian.
Until, that is, a warm front barrels through and it all turns to grey mush. That’s the price we pay for living surrounded by Nova Scotia’s picturesque seascapes and tidal vistas. We wouldn’t trade our harbours and cliffs for all the marshmallow winters in the world.
Slush or no slush, outdoor winter activities are a huge part of what makes Canada Canada! As a nation we love our tobogganing, our tuques, and our beaver tails – and Colchester County is no different! You can pry our snowy winter activities out of our frosty mittened fingers!
But, national pride or no, sometimes you just want to be warm. After all that Christmas cake and New Year’s champagne, it’s time for resolutions. If your resolution this year was “be more active,” or “get in shape,” but you’d rather hibernate until spring, welcome to the club. We here at the bunker have your back. We’ll help you fulfill that resolution, no problem!
For those of us a little less cold-hardy than your average Canuck, we’ve put together a list of five fun indoor activities to keep you moving through the winter months. And all of these activities are available around Truro! Bonus!
Here in Truro we have a gorgeous new Recreation centre, the RECC, outfitted with a fantastic pool. There are even water slides (awesome!). Swimming is a classic family activity, and for very good reason! Not only is it a survival skill all children should learn, especially in a coastal province like Nova Scotia, it’s a great low-impact exercise that really works the whole body. And it’s so fun you won’t even notice you’re working hard!
The RECC offers open swims and swimming lessons all winter. Check their schedule here and pop in for a dip.
4. Rock Climbing
Don’t feel like getting your hair wet? Or maybe the chlorine bothers your eyes? No problem. There’s more to the RECC than just the pool. Why not try rock climbing?
It’s not for everyone, and older adults may find it difficult to get started if they’ve never climbed before. But rock climbing is a fantastic total-body workout! It works everything, right from your fingers down to your toes. And it’s a great way to improve your flexibility! Reach for that perfect rock and haul yourself to the top. See how high you can climb, time yourself, or race your friend! There are loads of ways to make rock climbing social and competitive. Just make sure you don’t overdo it – always remember to pace yourself.
We’ve found a great article on how to start rock climbing and what to expect, so you can go in ready to rock and roll!
Who could forget about bowling?
A lot of us apparently!
History Corner: A Bit About Bowling!
Bowling experienced a rise in popularity in the 1950s, when major tournaments began airing on TV. Since then, its popularity has taken a bit of a nosedive, but it remains a family staple. It’s a great way to get out and have some family fun without breaking the bank.
Did you know bowling is way older than you probably thought? The game dates back at least to the medieval period, but some scholars think it goes back even further! It’s possible ancient Egyptians were bowling while the Great Pyramids were being built, over 5000 years ago!
Here in Nova Scotia we have a very particular style of bowling. Most of the world bowls 10-pin, a style that was standardized in the late 19th century, but for whatever reason the Atlantic provinces and patches of the northeastern United States bowl candlepin style.
We use 10 narrow, cylindrical pins, very different from 10-pin’s iconic pear-shaped pieces. And we bowl with smaller balls! Candlepin balls fit in the palm of your hand, unlike 10-pin’s large, 3-holed balls that you would throw with your fingers. This makes candlepin an easier game for children, since they don’t have to lift the heavy bowling ball. It also makes the game just a little less predictable! Because the balls are so light, they have a tendency to bounce off the back of the lane, and sometimes even a gutterball can take down a couple of pins! To help little ones out a little more, ask the alley to put in some gutter bumpers. Every throw is guaranteed to connect!
Bowling isn’t too much of a workout, but it does get you off your feet and out of the house – without freezing. And the whole family can get involved! For extra fun, try cosmic bowling under black lights – don’t forget to wear white!
The Bible Hill Bowlacade does cosmic bowling every Friday and Saturday night – check it out!
Dancing is a great way to stay fit for all ages and activity levels. An elegant foxtrot is a great way to cuddle up to someone you love for an extra bit of warmth when it’s snowing out there. If you’re looking for a little more of a workout, why not try some swing dance? Jive is great for beginners, and for the more advanced couples, give Lindy Hop a try! Of course, for the 19+ crowd, you can always head out to the bar or club and rock out, too. The choice is yours!
Don’t have a partner? No problem! Have a go at some good old fashioned Cape Breton step dancing! You’ll be the life of the ceilidh!
While there are some excellent dance studios and classes around for the serious student, the best part about dancing is: you don’t even need to leave home! What could be better than dancing in the kitchen? (Kitchen parties are what we’re known for ‘round these parts, after all!) Or baby dancing on daddy’s feet?
If you don’t know where to start, and don’t feel like freestyling your way through it, why not try taking a class? If you’re hard up for cash, or just want to give dancing a try before committing to a whole course, we live in an age when you can just head to YouTube and learn whatever style you’ve been dying to try. Soon you’ll be dancing up a storm – or through one!
Here are some of our favourite how-to dance videos to get you started:
1. Laser Tag
Hands down the best and most radically fun way to stay fit this winter has got to be laser tag!
Enter the Bunker has partnered with Aftermath Mobile Laser Tag to bring you four hours of action-packed fun every other Friday. Check our schedule here to see our next available date.
Aftermath Mobile Laser Tag features some of the best tech in the biz, with a super-advanced system that tracks your gameplay. Find out who has the best killstrike, how many times you “died,” and who long the match lasted. Switch out tagger modes and really get immersed in the game with over 2000 unique sound effects played from your tagger. It’s a great way to have some really mind-blowing fun – and get some exercise doing it!
In an hour of play, you’ll spend about 30 minutes running, and the rest of the time crouching, doing squats, and hunkering down behind barriers lifting your tagger to tag the other team. It’s a whole lot of fun – and a whole lot of work! You will definitely sleep well after this.
How’s it work?
Be sure to wear exercise pants like joggers or track pants or a pair of shorts, comfortable shoes, and a loose, light t-shirt when you play at the bunker. It gets warm in that arena, with all those players running around!
Our play time is separated into two parts: Rookie play for children 12 and under and their families, and Open play for youths 13+ and adults. So the whole family can have fun! If you’re not into playing, or if you want to play with the grown-ups while your child wants to play with kids their own age, you can wait it out in our premium lounge while you watch the kids play on a live stream direct to our 203” screen.
Laser tag runs rain, snow, or shine – the bunker is outfitted with a generator, so even a power outage won’t mean the game’s called off. And we have snacks and refreshments available for sale in our premium lounge. You’re sure to work up an appetite with all that running around! Go ahead, treat yo self to some pizza. You earned it!
Book your tickets now! Our next laser tag open night is January 11th.
Those are our top 5 winter activities to keep you fit and having fun this winter in and around Truro! Which one is your favourite? Did you try any of these? Did we miss anything? Let us know!
We’ll see you next week!