March 24, 2017 7:00 am
Updated: March 31, 2017 12:13 pm

15 indoor activities to help you stay healthy and happy


As the last (we hope) of the white stuff melts away, we have more seasonal winter weather to look forward to: rain. But the forecast doesn’t have to come between you and your fitness goals if you’ve got a good raincoat to wear on BC’s numerous trails and walking paths. However, if you’re more of an inside person, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, ParticipACTION has put together the ultimate guide of ways to get moving with the 150 Play List many of which can be done indoors.

“We know it rains a lot here on the West Coast,” says Liia Vuur, branch manager at the Robert Lee YMCA in Vancouver. “We try to make sure there are lots of opportunities indoors when you have to shelter yourself from the rain, so you can stay dry but still remain active.”

To help you get started this rainy season, here are 15 activities to try indoors or at your local YMCA, and check off the ParticipACTION150 Play List.

Dancing and folk/cultural dances

From barre to Bollywood, the Y invites members to explore a mix of contemporary and cultural dancing styles. “I like to call these classes ‘secret exercise’ because you’re having so much fun and all of a sudden you’re sweating,” says Vuur. Practicing a cultural dance is also a great window into the traditions of our diverse immigrant population. In addition to Bollywood (which combines traditional Indian folk dance with contemporary styles), the YMCA also offers Chinese Dance Fusion and Latin Funk Dance.


When you can’t cycle around Vancouver’s Stanley Park seawall, consider heading inside for a spin class. The Y offers a series of classes that will get your heart pumping and leave your legs burning—in a good way. “These classes are focused on strength and really improving your cardiovascular health,” says Vuur.

One-foot high kickside reachjump rope and weightlifting

Developing an individualized fitness program with a personal trainer is an excellent way to set achievable goals, monitor your progress and finally feel comfortable using the weight room. Spending time with a trainer also offers an opportunity to try out some new exercises, including unique 150 Play List activities such as the one-foot high kick, an Inuit game that translates well to the gymnasium floor. With your trainer as your guide, you jump up and kick a suspended target (such as a tennis ball) and land on your kicking foot in a test of coordination, flexibility and balance.

Swimmingaquafitdiving and Marco Polo

The water is much more forgiving than the track or basketball court, cushioning your joints and reducing stress on your muscles, so they’re less likely to lead to injury. So if you’re looking for something low-impact, head to the Y. It offers a variety of aquafit and swimming classes for all ages. You can also visit the pool with your friends and family for a game of Marco Polo.

Volleyball and sitting volleyball

Volleyball was invented at a YMCA in Massachusetts in 1895 by physical education director William Morgan; to this day it continues to be a popular activity throughout the network of recreational facilities. Simply drop in for some beginner or advanced play. Spike two items on the 150 Play List by convincing your fellow players to try a game of sitting volleyball, which was developed for players with disabilities.

Yoga and Pilates

You don’t have to join a fancy studio to practice yoga or Pilates—accessible classes await at the YMCA. From prenatal to power, the Y offers classes of different intensities, but with the same intentions: to calm and connect your body and mind, while improving balance and flexibility and releasing tension. Namaste.


Sign up at and see how many activities you can check off the list.


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