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Credit: Flickr/Jacob Michelsen

Forget hiding away until summer - there are plenty of reasons to get active now

Don’t use the grey and cold as an excuse to be a hermit. Get up and be active

Sure, we’re stuck in the final doldrums of winter, digging our heels in and toughing out these last few weeks of cold until spring and sunshine make their long-awaited return. But just because spring is on the horizon doesn’t mean you should put off activities in favor of bunkering down in bed, buried under layers of cozy and comfortable blankets.

There are plenty of fun and exciting things for you to do while there’s still frost on the ground and a chill in the air.

Get Your Butt to the Gym

The holidays are over and the extra winter padding can no longer be justified. Sure, during the winter gaining a few pounds is expected, and oftentimes embraced. With all the celebratory meals, plus the benefit of layered and concealing clothing, what’s an extra inch along the waist?

But with summer fast approaching, there’s no better time to whip yourself back into shape. While it might be a little early (and chilly) for outdoor jogs, that doesn’t mean you can’t hit the gym or take part in a yoga class. If you’re feeling the seasonal blues, there’s nothing better than the rush of endorphins a good workout can bring.

Right now, Living Free Canada is offering a free two-week trial to the Steve Nash Sports Club (coupon at the bottom of the page) at 17 different locations across Victoria and the Lower Mainland. Free is just the motivation you need. You’ll be ready for bathing suit season before you know it.

Take a Quick Trip

There’s nothing better than a quick vacation to shake things up. While a three-month sojourn backpacking across Europe might not be an option, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun and memorable experience. Taking a spur-of-the-moment vacation at this time of year perfectly bridges the gap from now until the summer, and will recharge your batteries so that the days don’t drag.

Looking for inspiration? Across and Abroad offers up a variety of different locales, guides, activities and photos that might pique your interest and help you choose a destination.

For a quick and easy fix, Vegas is the ultimate get-up-and-go vacation, as it provides plenty of opportunity for wild and unexpected events. With great food, endless entertainment and an almost guaranteed good time, a three-day weekend in Vegas is all you need.

Eat Out

When it’s cold out, no one wants to go outside and brave the elements - it’s easier to stay inside where it’s warm and cozy. When it comes time to eat, go against that instinct and head out. Whether it’s a date or just a get-together with friends, being in a social atmosphere will have a positive effect.

Make sure to try out a new restaurant or to try a new dish - something that will break up the monotony that so often plagues these months early in the year. All over BC, from Victoria to the Comox Valley, there are dine out opportunities you can take advantage of.

The biggest thing is to just do something. When it’s cold or not the nicest outside, our instinct is to stay in and close ourselves off from the rest of the world. While this might be the easiest option, your mental health could suffer. Get up and get out there, you’ll feel that much better for it.

With a background in broadcast journalism and new media, Michael Small has worked as an editor for a variety of successful online publications, including Orato, Now Public, and Rabble. He blogged for BC Living during the 2010 Winter Games.