Get out and Explore

Heart Healthy Activities this February

By Shannon Traphagen

The idea of being active in colder weather isn’t always appealing. But February is heart health month and maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires that we keep our bodies moving. Fortunately, Buffalo has many fun heart-healthy activities to try even when it’s cold outside.  

Visit Explore and More Children’s Museum in East Aurora the first and third Saturday monthly from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids can enjoy healthy activities like kid’s yoga, Zumba, Jump Bunch Sports, and more.

Try Independent Health’s Healthy Options Cooking Classes on Tuesday February 6, 20, and 27 from 6-8 p.m. Visit www.healthyoptionsbuffalo.com/calendar, and sign up to learn simple and healthy cooking techniques with a group of your closest friends, or a creative health inspired date night!

On February 15 from 6-7:30 p.m., the Albright Knox Art Gallery is hosting a tour of the museum’s collections followed by a Vinyasa yoga class with Power Yoga Buffalo’s Steve Procknal, and a Gentle Yoga class on February 20 from 3-4 p.m. Space is limited and registration and pre-payment are required. Register online or call 716-270-8292.

For those who don’t mind bundling-up to enjoy outdoor activities, give fat biking a try. A fat bike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires and electric peddle assistance, designed for riding on soft, unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, and mud. Biking is a safe way to exercise outside, and a fat bike is designed for winter weather. Wilkeson Pointe offers bike rentals for winter riding (716-851-5553). Great trails include Harris Hill, Sprague Brook Park, and Hunter’s Creek. You can find more winter trails at the WNY Mountain Bike Association’s website at www.wnymba.com.

If winter bicycling isn’t for you, then strap on some snow shoes! Snow shoeing offers a great exercise and cardio experience, and makes walking outdoors fun. There are some amazing snow shoe trails in Buffalo, including Royalton Ravine in Niagara County, Beaver Meadow, Bond Lake County Park in Lewiston, the Amherst Nature trail, Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, and Knox Farm in East Aurora. Gear for Adventure sports apparel store in Hamburg rents out snow shoes for just $15 a day, and $5 for each additional day after that.

Simply getting outdoors and going for a 30-minute walk daily is enough to boost the immune system and maintain a heart healthy. A study by the American Journal of Medicine found that older women who walked each day for an entire year reported half the number of colds and other ailments than women who didn’t exercise during the same period. Whether male or female, with the family or your beloved pet, walking is a great heart healthy activity no matter the season. This winter get out and explore all that Western New York has to offer, making sure to take special precautions and choosing an indoor activity when we are experiencing dangerous wind chills.

Check out more great things to do at Buffalo Healthy Living’s online calendar at www.BuffaloHealthyLiving.com/events and in our Healthy Happenings listing on page 54 of this issue.