BY HEATHER KENNERY
After the holidays most of us feel the effects of too many turkey dinners and glasses of eggnog.
A Dec. 22, 2011 CNN article said that, on average, people gain between one and five pounds during the holiday season.
Going to the gym and hopping on a treadmill is an easy solution, but for a more fun workout you can visit many places around K-W and enjoy inexpensive winter activities.
Skating is a great group activity and is also a good cardio workout. During good weather conditions visiting an outdoor rink such as the one in front of Kitchener City Hall is ideal. It is free and has a heated locker room to lace up. A schedule for free public skating in arenas can be found at www.kitchener.ca. Public skating for adults generally costs $6 per person.
Want to avoid the bruises on your bum from hitting the ice, visit Laurel Creek Conservation Area in Waterloo for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Laurel Creek is open on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Adult admission is $5.50. Need to rent ski equipment? They charge $13, and suggest you call a day ahead if renting on weekdays.
If you have a need for speed, Chicopee Tube Park is the place for you. If you purchase your pass on Tuesdays before 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays between 8 and 9 p.m. the tube park offers a student deal of $19 for three hours of pure, fast fun. For an extra workout skip the moving sidewalk and march up the hill, it will make the ride down even more enjoyable and keep you warm on a cold night.
On the other side of Chicopee you can also buy a pass to ski or snowboard. For a full day pass it costs $40 with your own equipment. They also offer four- and two-hour passes for less money. You can visit www.discoverchicopee.com for rates on rentals.
Chicopee also offers Winter Disc Golf. Disc golf involves throwing metal discs at a standing net to get points. This can be a group activity or be done as a single-person sport. It costs $7.50 for a full day pass and you can also rent discs for $5.
If your funds are in the red from Christmas try looking in your garage for a sled or Crazy Carpet. You can visit any hill with a group of friends, with the plus side of a good workout. On www.fitday.com it says that an average person burns over 350 calories per hour of tobogganing.
All of these activities can help get your belt a little tighter and your jeans a little looser while giving you hours of fun during the next couple of cold months.