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Staying Active in Winter | Grand Forks

Staying Active in Winter | Grand Forks

With nearly six months of winter, it is important to create some great habits throughout these cold months to keep active and get some sun exposure for your daily dose of Vitamin D. There are SO MANY ways to keep exercising throughout our long winters including: 

Ways to Stay Active in the Winter 

  • Go for a walk on the Greenway (the bike trail is plowed all year) 
  • Snowshoeing 
  • Greenway or Turtle River State Park 
  • Cross country skiing 
  • Lincoln Park and the Greenway have groomed trails 

Cross Country Skiing 

Cross country skiing has been consistently proven to be one of the best forms of exercise possible.Health benefits of cross country skiing include: 

  • Great heart and lung workout 
  • Exercises both upper and lower body 
  • Low impact on joints 
  • Can be performed at a walking pace or at an Olympic pace!   

Cross country skiing has two different techniques to choose from: classic or skating. Classic is what you most likely think of, and it is like walking or running with a gliding element to it. 

There is another, more athletic type, of cross country skiing, called “skate-skiing.” The learning curve is higher, and it requires slightly different boots, skis and longer poles, but once you get the hang of it, it is even more fun! It is like ice skating, but on cross country skis. 

If you are not excited about getting out and enjoying our six months of snow (why not??), there are plenty of indoor options. At Choice Health & Fitness, Altru employees get a fantastic discount for membership, and you could participate in any number of activities: 

  • Swim laps  
  • Run indoors on a treadmill 
  • Row on a rowing machine (such a great low impact workout) 
  • Participate in yoga classes 
  • Increase strength through weight training 

Even if you are not interested in a strict exercise routine, getting outside even for a 20-minute walk in the winter is safe, fun and good for you. And if you do something just one day a week, you are still benefitting from it. The benefits of getting outside are being proven repeatedly to be extremely good for mental health. So, go outside and maybe I’ll see you there soon! 

About Dr. Jonathan Haug

I have been at Altru for 16 years, am an Anesthesiologist, and serve as the Medical Director of Surgical and Procedural Services. I grew up in Grafton and Grand Forks and have learned to embrace our winters and make the most of them. My personal record is cross country skiing the Greenway for 130 days (about 4 and a half months) in one winter!