As the snow melts away and Spring begins to warm up the city, Ottawa residents start feeling the itch to get outside to satisfy their fitness needs. However, between slush, puddles and icy patches, this time of year can be difficult to navigate an outdoor workout. You need to consider proper footwear and rain gear as well as exercise caution on the pathways when going out for a walk, run or bike ride. To avoid the messy situation outside, it might be the time to think about an indoor fitness class, a gym membership or to check out other offerings in your community instead.

The nicer weather will be here to stay soon enough, and you’ll be able to get back outside more often. In the meantime, here are some factors to consider when exercising this time of year. 

If you're Pregnant:


When you're pregnant, one of the scariest things that could happen during the colder winter months is falling on ice. While the warmer spring air may get you thinking about going out for a walk, you may want to wait until the pathway is a little safer to walk on, since ice likes to hide under puddles of water. If you don’t mind getting wet, but want to stay out of the puddles, head to the pool for a prenatal swim or aquafit class. Or if you prefer to maintain your level of fitness at an indoor class, look for one that caters to prenatal fitness or prenatal yoga. Whatever you decide, you’ll want to be sure your instructor has specialized training to help you exercise safely through your pregnancy.

If you've just had a Baby:

Once your new baby arrives, you probably won’t want to stay inside all day. At some point, not only will you want to safely start back into a fitness routine, but you’ll likely welcome the chance to get out of the house once in a while for a change of scenery! A stroller where you can bundle baby up in layers no matter what the weather brings is a great way to get out for a walk. If the roads are still slushy or snowy, many strollers have wheels that can manage. If you prefer to baby wear, but still don't trust the sometimes slippery or puddle laden pathways, try a walk around one of the malls. Call a friend, grab a coffee and then start walking! Once your body feels recovered from your baby's birth, you might want to check out a post-natal fitness classes that you can do with your baby, either wearing your baby or using your stroller. Your body goes through some pretty significant changes after having a baby, so when it's time to choose a class, it's important that you select an instructor that has specialized training to help you regain your fitness levels post-baby.

If you are heading back to work after Maternity Leave:

Once you head back to work, it's a great idea to always have a pair of running shoes at work so that you can go for a power walk during your lunch hour. You probably don’t want to wear your heels or fancy boots outside when the puddles are a foot deep anyway, so if you'd like to go for a walk or run, be prepared with the proper footwear and scope out a good running path near the office. You can also look for a nearby fitness facility to help get a workout in during your lunch hour or right after work. Or, if you can stay awake long enough, attend a fitness class that you can go to once your little ones are sleeping. But, the most important part of your back to work fitness strategy is adding your workouts to your schedule and committing to it. This may be really hard initially, but once you've established your workouts in your weekly routine, you'll have a hard time giving them up.

Staying fit all year round is definitely achievable, but spring in Ottawa brings outdoor challenges that other seasons may not have. Explore some of the fitness options offered in your neighbourhood to help you stay safe and dry this spring!