The Winter Wonderland of exercise in Minnesota!
Welcome to all you who are new to Minnesota and welcome to all of you who groaned at the title of this article! Let’s talk about exercising in the winter when the daylight is short and the motivation may not always be here. The activities I am going to suggest are all fun ways to get your exercise in while also helping your mood by getting out in nature. Importantly, they are all in St Paul, so you will not spend much time traveling.
Fort Snelling State Park. Often when people think of our Minnesota State Park system, they think of the parks by Lake Superior. Here in St Paul we are lucky to have this beautiful park. At Fort Snelling State Park you can explore the short loop around Snelling Lake or hike a one-, two- or three-mile loop around Pike Island. This walk gives you views of both the Mississippi River and the Minnesota Rivers. They have snowshoe rental (when there is at least 6 inches of snow) as well as groomed cross country ski trails (again when there is at least 6 inches of snow). Located at 101 Snelling Lake Road, St. Paul, MN 55111
Chiropractic tip: Cross country skiing is an excellent joint movement exercise. Before you start, warming up is essential. Start at your ankles and feet and move up. When in a hurry, shorten the length of your workout but not your warm up.
Como Park Ski Center. This little gem in St Paul offers two tow ropes, a 150 vertical drop on 15 acres, groomed cross country trails, ski and snowboard rentals and lessons for all ages. It also has a chalet with restrooms and concessions. Located at 1431 Lexington Parkway, St Paul, MN 55102. We are also lucky enough to have Afton, Buck Hill and Wild Mountain Ski Hills close by if not technically in our beautiful St. Paul.
Chiropractic tip: Before skiing: Do 10 to 15 squats. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees aligned over your feet. Slowly lower your buttocks as you bend your knees over your feet. Stand up straight again.
Ice Skating. Did you know that St Paul has 14 General use skating rinks? As of December 13, 2018, 4 are currently open for skating. The St Paul Parks and Recreations website not only lists the rinks and the addresses, it lists whether it has lights and the warming house hours. Don’t forget our own Charles M Schulz Highland Arena and the numerous Ramsey County Rinks.
Chiropractic tip: Skating is an excellent exercise for all ages. It helps maintain balance, is a good cardiovascular exercise, builds endurance and leg strength and it is fun!
Sledding. Every neighborhood in St Paul seems to have their own sledding hill that is “the best.” Close to our clinic neighborhood my favorite is under the Highland Park Water Tower.
Chiropractic tip: Is sledding exercise? Climbing hills over and over again is exercise. Bonus points if you are lugging the kids or grandchildren up the hill.
Other Winter specific activities you might enjoy include snowboarding, hockey, curling, riding your fat tire bike, snow volleyball and kite-boarding. If you can’t bring yourself to face the great outdoors consider going to the Mall of America to walk and get some movement in.