Typically the start of January is the busiest time of the year for fitness facilities, as the New Year's resolutions kickstart and the number of gym-goers in town dramatically increases. That isn't the case this year.

The province is entering its fifth week since the Kenney government made the announcement that fitness facilities and organized sports were to shut down operations.

Shutting down all fitness and sports operations for the second time this year continues to largely impact those organizations as well as the people who rely on its services, however, Cochranites are adapting and finding other ways to stay active.

Local resident Guidel Ziegler says while she is missing curling on a regular basis, she and her family are making the most of what is available to them, and they're staying active by exploring the pathways around town.

"I'm a big curler so I [usually] spend an awful lot of time- four to five days a week down at the curling club, so we're really missing that," says Ziegler. "Having to keep ourselves active and keep moving just to keep our sanity more than anything, exploring our walking paths around town is a brilliant way to stay active, stay healthy and see some new stuff."

So far the winter weather in 2021 has been more in line with the fall season, making outdoor recreation much more appealing to local residents.

Cochrane resident Rob Low says that while his family is missing competitive hockey, they're making good use of skating on the outdoor ice rinks around town.

"My son is a hockey player so before the pandemic, he was at Spray Lakes five to seven days a week practicing," says Low. "Since Spray Lakes closed we've been doing that at the outdoor Tim Bannister Memorial Rink, Mitford Pond and Jumping Pound Creek. Skating is definitely our biggest thing."

Ziegler says that she, like so many others is looking forward to when team sports and recreation can start up again, but for now, she's choosing to have a positive mindset and find other ways of staying mentally and physically fit.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to team sports and doing things together," says Ziegler. "As it is right now, we have to keep a positive attitude and we have to keep setting our own goals and decisions on what we're going to do. Just keeping our attitudes high - It's kind of important right now."

Along with making good use of the town's pathways and ice rinks, Cochranites have taken to tobogganing and skiing to stay active during the winter months.