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Change it Up!

September is a time where we transition seasons and lifestyles. The weather is changing, school is back in, and camping weekends are wrapping up. Like we discussed in March's post, adjusting our activities to rotate with the seasons makes a lot of sense in our climate. Autumn acts as the transition time from outdoor summer activities to, often, more indoor based winter actives. While this is a great time to reestablish routine and prepare for the upcoming winter, it can also be the ideal time to do something new!

Trying new activities comes with many benefits. You challenge your body with new environments and movements, and your mind is challenged with new processes. Doing new activities, or even revisiting long forgotten ones, can also be a way to connect with others. There are many classes, clubs, and like-minded people out there, and the best way to find them is to get out there! You may even spark a new passion and wish to pursue it over the winter months, like rock climbing, or work on preparing yourself for the next summer season, like doing swim training for a triathlon.

Diversifying our activity also has the benefit of further adapting our body and skills. If you run 5km twice a week for 10 years, you’ll be able to run 5km twice a week and have the muscle and cardiovascular system to support it. While this is a great maintenance plan, it doesn’t allow for progress or change. However, if you perform varied activities that challenge different skills such as coordination, balance, flexibility, teamwork, strategy and strength, then you will have more well rounded abilities.

Changing up your routine can be as simple as walking a different route, inviting a new friend along or adding in spurts of higher intensity intervals. Or perhaps, trying an activity that aligns with your current skills and preferred exercise, such as a runner trying out a game of ultimate frisbee, or a gym goer trying a boot camp class. Going for a big change can be an exciting way to get out of your comfort zone too. Maybe you’ve wanted to try rock climbing, hip-hop or yoga. Take a chance, and see what happens! Many clubs and facilities have discounts on trials or even special events where you can try a class for free.

It is my belief that for exercise to be motivating and sustainable the purpose alone cannot be ‘to exercise’. Ideally, we want to do exercise and activity as a way to consistently ensure we can continue to perform the tasks of daily living AND enjoy the physical activities we love. For example, lifting weights in the gym and running on the track are great exercises that allow us to continue to play tennis, jump into a family soccer game, and climb the stairs at the waterpark. By trying activities outside our typical routine we get to see how our exercise applies to ‘real life’ and get to have some fun!

This month I challenge you to try something different. Some ideas I recommend are:

  • Orienteering with the Edmonton Overlanders Club. For $10 you get a detailed map and find your way to each waypoint.

  • Classes at your nearest rec centre. My long time favourite is Pilates at Terwillegar.

  • Pickleball and Badminton. Both are great racket sports that require minimal equipment and are widely accessible at clubs and rec centres.

  • Road biking with the Edmonton Road and Track Club. They have ‘lite’ rides and women’s nights and a no-drop policy. No one is left behind!

  • Swimming lessons! Swimming is not only great for exercise, it is a life-saving skill. Whatever your current skill level, taking a class will help you increase your endurance and encourage proper technique.

  • Rec league sports with the Edmonton Sport and Social Club. They welcome all skill levels!

Learn more about how an individualized training program can allow

you to enjoy all kinds of activities!

What activity are you ready to try?

Simply leave a comment or send me an email at

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