Polar Bear Blog

How to keep fit and stay (Churchill) wild on your polar bear safari!

Water aerobics provide an excellent workout for polar bears! Photo courtesy Steve and Jan Herring.
Water aerobics provide an excellent workout for polar bears! Photo courtesy Steve and Jan Herring.

by Allison Reimer

I’d like to start off by saying, you’re on vacation, so try and relax a little. Next, I would like to advise you that resisting the divine meals and snacks at our polar bear lodges is basically futile. The good news is, you don’t have to resist them! Walking with polar bears should get your heart pumping (in the best way possible.)

Polar bear after a big meal at Churchill Wild. We feel the same way! Michael Poliza photo.
Polar bear after a big meal at Seal River Heritage Lodge. We feel the same way! Michael Poliza photo.

As we all become more conscientious of our health and the health of the planet, our guests have been requesting exercise facilities at our lodges. Fitting a treadmill on a nine-seater Caravan is a logistical challenge we haven’t mastered, but this doesn’t mean your dream of a workout room with a view of Hudson Bay — and polar bears looking in to judge your top speed on a treadmill — will never come true.

Every year Churchill Wild looks to add to your experience, and talk of adding more equipment has been floating around the office. For now, we’ve come up with some great alternatives that are now available for you to use during your polar bear safari, including:

  • TRX kit
  • Pair of 10-pound weights
  • Resistance band
  • Yoga mats
  • Hula hoops

Your stay at the lodge will be approximately five days, and most days include a fair amount of trekking out on the tundra. If you’re looking for something a bit more vigorous, check out the easy-to-follow daily workout plan I’ve outlined below.

Polar bears like to work out with a friend at Churchill Wild! Jad Davenport photo
Polar bears like to work out with a friend! Jad Davenport photo

I started my fitness journey a couple years back when I realized not having an hour of gym class every day in school was making a dramatic difference on my ability to outrun my brother. (Who am I kidding, I really was just running to beat him to the ice cream.) As the daughter of Mike and Jeanne, who founded Churchill Wild, I’ve spent a lot of time at the lodges, and have learned a thing or two about staying fit when you can’t run in polar bear country.

*Please note I am not a fitness instructor, these are workouts I do myself at home or while travelling.*

All you need is some empty floor space, weights and a yoga mat. Each workout takes approximately 30 minutes and can easily be completed before you sit down to one of our delicious lodge breakfasts.

When in doubt, try the polar bear stretch. Lloyd Wilton photo.
When in doubt, try the polar bear stretch. Lloyd Wilton photo.

If you’re feeling a bit unmotivated when you arrive at the lodge after a long day (or days) of travel, just swap out the exercise I’ve recommended for Day 1 with about 30 minutes of yoga and/or Pilates.

Keep fit and stay (Churchill) wild!

POLAR BEAR SAFARI EXERCISE CHART (Click image for full size.)

Polar Bear Safari Exercise Chart. Click image for full size.
Polar Bear Safari Exercise Chart. Click image for full size.
Polar bears know how to relax. Remember to get some rest. You're on vacation! Robert Postma photo.
Polar bears know how to relax. Remember to get some rest. You’re on vacation! Robert Postma photo.

Hudson Bay Odyssey

Photo Gallery Enquire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.