12/09/2011 01:49 EST | Updated 12/12/2011 09:41 EST

A Doctor's Tips On Staying In Shape This Season: Quick Study


Quick Study [kwik stuhd-ee]: The Huffington Post Canada's tips to make your life a little sweeter, five minutes at a time. Think of it as a cheatsheet for your general well-being.

For the next 30 days, we're checking out how to take a break from your busy holiday schedule and relax -- in unexpected ways.


The Huffington Post Canada talked to naturopathic doctor and strength and conditioning coach Dr. Marc Bubbs on how to stay in shape this winter and improve prior sports injuries.

HuffPost: How do you suggest taking a break from the stresses of the holidays?

Marc Bubbs

Skating is great for strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, and quads and you only need about 15 to 20 minutes of skating to get a great workout in.


Typically patients I see with back complaints tend to have weak glutes and hamstrings, tight quad muscles and weak core muscles. Try these easy steps next time you find yourself standing for a long period of time:

  • 1. Gently squeeze your glutes, this will activate your most powerful hip extensor muscle and more effectively distribute the load on your lumbar spine, reducing back pain.
  • 2. Activate your core by drawing your belly button in gently towards your spine. This activates your transverse abdominis (TVA) muscle, which acts like a weight-belt keeping your spine supported and stable.



Now, if skating reminds you of slipping on the ice as a child or your plans on joining the NHL ended years ago, here are other healthy and fun winter activities.

From cross-country skiing to snowboarding, outdoor activities really hit their stride in December. And even if you live in an area where the thermometer doesn't go south of 70, there are still ways to enjoy the cooler days -- whether you're up on the mountain, or zipping around a skating rink. Check out other activities to try this season.


Before you hit the slopes, try these ski and snowboard workouts.

What is your favourite winter activity? Let us know on Twitter at @HuffPostCaLiv or in the comments below.