• 20/11/2020

Rediscovering the joys of winter.

3 minutes

Éric Millette

Éric Millette

  • © Montreal, Canada - 22 January 2019: Man running at the Kondiaronk belvedere in winter.

Why not take advantage of the winter months to get fit and boost your morale? Here’s a look at what to try this season, and some common mistakes to avoid.

Cycling, snowshoeing, running, skiing… there are a variety of sports worth trying in the downtown core, each with its own rhythm and intensity. To help you ease into the winter season, try your hand at speed-walking. It’s loads of fun and the perfect opportunity to take in Montreal’s beautiful architecture and colourful murals. As with any sport, there are always a few precautions to take. 

“Warming up is extremely important,” points out Dino Masson, kinesiologist and president of YUL Fitness. “You should always start at low intensity and exaggerate your movements in order to loosen up your muscles and joints. And same goes for your post-workout stretching.”

Adapt your routine

Seasoned athletes might be able to maintain their summer sports routines, but they need to be extra vigilant in order to avoid falls, which can lead to sprains, fractures, and dislocations. “Take the time to assess your terrain before getting started. Is it icy? Is it soft? Test how your knees and ankles react and adapt your equipment accordingly,” cautions Masson.

Runners need to consider the type of soles their shoes are equipped with. “You’re going to want to make sure your shoes have sturdy traction spikes. When running on asphalt, you want spikes that aren’t too thick, otherwise they’ll wear off faster. In snow, your best bet is 8 mm soft spikes; they’ll provide better protection and grip,” explains Nicolas, advisor/trainer at Sports Experts.

If you prefer running with your regular shoes, add traction soles. And if you plan on running in snow and mud, make sure your shoes have waterproof protection. And finally, invest in good-quality socks, as they’ll keep your feet warmer, longer. “Merino wool keeps humidity at bay. Never use cotton in the winter; opt for synthetic instead,” advises Nicolas.

Skis in snow with Montreal skyline in the distance

Layer up

Covering your upper body and sporting multiple layers will help protect you from Montreal’s humid weather. “Start with a merino wool or fleece base layer; this will help regulate your temperature. Next, add an isolating layer: a down jacket if you’re going for a stroll, synthetic if you’re hitting the slopes. Finally, finish with a four-season layer, such as a waterproof windbreaker, which breathes, all while trapping in the heat,” explains Geneviève, technical representative at Arc’Teryx. “And don’t forget to cover your extremities!

The riverside/mountain trails that wind throughthe downtown core are dotted with large pedestrian spaces, making them the ideal way to get some steps in. Finish your stroll at Toussaint-Louverture Park, where you can make use of the outdoor fitness installations, such as pull-up bars.

Cycling in the snow

Cycling is still the best way to cover long distances, especially when opting for the plowed lane on Boulevard de Maisonneuve.

If you’re a beginner, no need to buy yourself a new bike for the winter—you can simply adapt the one you already have. “I recommend installing two studded tires, which will offer you stability and safety on the road,” advises Christophe, advisor at Décathlon. “After a year of practice, you can opt for a studded front tire and a traction rear tire. And don’t forget to install a mud guard, to protect yourself from snow projections!

Sports on the mountain

If you’re itching to strap on your ski boots, skates, or snowshoes, head to Mont-Royal Park. The mountain is also a great place to spend quality time sleddingwith the family or enjoying the sun while practicing snowga (yoga in the snow!).

Pour plus d’information sur les installations extérieures et les murales: montreal.ca