I spent my holidays in Florida this year where the warm temperatures gave me the opportunity to get outside and run. This routine of running daily allowed me to jump-start my New Year’s resolution of incorporating more movement into my day. Running is nothing new to me, but it had been a long time since I’d been on a regular running routine.
Feeling energized after returning home I was motivated to continue running, but found the cold outdoor temperatures too much to bear. Although I have access to a treadmill at my office/clinic, I remembered enjoying my experience of running on the track at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex a couple years ago and decided to give it a shot again.
Not only did I find refuge from the cold, but the track at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex is FREE to the public most of the week, making it easier to find time that fit my schedule. I made a running schedule, writing down the days and times I would go to the track, knowing I would be more likely to succeed in carrying out my resolution if I scheduled it into my weekly routine (see The Power of Goal Setting- Commit to a Better You).
Wow, a FREE and warm place to run, but my experience at the track extended far beyond that…
It was inspiring to see people, lots of people, people of every size, shape and age all on a healthy mission to GET MOVING! And whether they knew it or not they were doing wonders for their body composition (see What is Body Composition?). There were a group of woman walking together catching up, moms walking with their babies in strollers, and a senior couple walking hand in hand as they circled the track with a brisk walk. The more experienced runners were taking fast powerful strides around the track, while others were incorporating walking sticks to give the upper body more of a workout.
My favourite group on that first visit was a dad and his young daughter (who was around 7 years old) running around the track together. Everyone was moving to their own beat, transferring energy and inspiration to their fellow track visitors! It was the energy of the track full of people that I really enjoyed. It was wonderful to see so many people of vast levels of fitness and age making time to give their body the power of movement!
I encourage you to come check it out! A FREE indoor track is the perfect opportunity to overcome the barrier of cold winter weather that may be keeping you from getting active. There is no obligation to join, and no need to invest in a membership – it’s FREE! If you’re just starting, or thinking of starting, a regular exercise routine and don’t have access to a treadmill (or even if you do), come out to the track for a walk or run and enjoy being inspired by fellow track visitors!
Here are some ideas to get you to the track…
- Instead of meeting a friend at Starbucks for a coffee suggest going to the track for a brisk walk while you catch up.
- You can ask your husband or wife to join you for an entertaining night on the track, and keep yourself motivated by making dates with different people throughout the week!
- Or, you can go on your own and get lost in the music of your iPod like I do! Strollers are welcome, so feel free to bring your kids or grandkids!
A few important tips:
- Slower movers stay to the left and those of you with speed keep to the right, which keeps the flow of traffic smooth.
- It is over a rink so you need to be dressed appropriately (But note, there are no gushing winds and the temperature is always the same, so you know what to expect!).
- If you warm up pretty fast while running a sweater or running jacket is plenty of clothing to keep you warm.
- You can always store your coat or boots on the bleachers, so don’t be afraid to bring extra layer.
- And there are also a few lockers and washrooms available for changing if needed.
Remember it’s FREE! And open for hours that will suit most anyone’s busy schedule.
Below is a list of FREE tracks and schedules in the KW area:
|Waterloo Memorial Recreational Complex||RIM Sports Complex||Activa Sports Complex|
|Address||100 Father David Bauer, Waterloo (corner of Caroline St. and Erb St.)||2001 University Avenue, Waterloo||Lennox Lewis Way, Kitchener (Cortland and Homer Watson, behind Peter Hallman Ball Park)|
|Hours of FREE Track Time||Monday – Friday
6:00 am – 5:00 pm
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday
6:00 am – 8:00 am
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Hours are subject to change due to scheduled Hockey Games.
Paid track time available on weekends from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
|Walking Loop only
Monday – Sunday
6:00 am – Midnight
|Track open daily
6:00 am – 11:00 pm
If you know of any other free indoor track facilities please email us and we will pass along the information!