Reading Time: 2 minutes

EXERCISING AND BED are quite similar. Whenever I see half-asleep zombies doing a lethargic step-up, step-down on the StairMaster at the gym for the umpteenth day in a row, I liken them to a set of bed sheets that haven’t been changed in months and months. Just like bed sheets, you need to switch up your exercise routine on a regular basis to keep it fresh. If I find myself reciting Jillian Michaels’ instructions word-for-word as I work out to an exercise DVD, I know it’s time to shake things up.

I spent my reading week in beautiful (and cold) Quebec City. Since it was so cold, I did my regular winter routine of popping in an exercise DVD and working out in front of the TV every morning. As much as I love my collection of DVDs, I found myself feeling somewhat bored as I repeated the same movements over and over, day after day. After the third or fourth session of Yoga Meltdown, I felt as though I was going to have a meltdown if I didn’t get outside and try something new.

Thus, I found myself at nearby Mount Sainte-Anne on a snowshoeing adventure. I had never tried snowshoeing before—or in obnoxious tourist Franglish, I had never “made the racquet” before. I strapped on a pair of rented snowshoes and, map in hand, set out on the snowshoeing trails through the forest. Unlike working out at the gym or in front of the TV, snowshoeing on a sunny day along a gorgeous trail lined with huge trees was a peaceful, calming experience. I even picked up the pace at one point and ran along the trail, discovering a field where sled dogs were resting before their next big trip.

The moral of the story is: Don’t be afraid to step (or snowshoe) outside of your comfort zone. A change will do you good!

—Sarah Horlick