Don't Hibernate: Stay Active this Winter

FamilySleddingiStock200X200Just because the temperature has dropped and the days are shorter, you don’t have to hibernate this winter. While Northeast winters can be challenging, the winter season also provides a variety of opportunities for being active.

While you will need to take some precautions because of the cold weather, a lower temperature does not mean you have to stay inside. Granted, you won’t want to spend hours outside in subzero cold, but the cool crisp air of winter can be invigorating and refreshing.

Find new ways to be active

There are plenty of ways you can be active in the winter. Don’t be afraid to try something new; it will help fight boredom and lift your mood.

When there’s snow, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Both burn large amounts of calories. Find an outdoor skating rink and take a few ice skating lessons. Pull your child or the neighborhood chil-dren around on a sled. Make a snow obstacle course and then try it a few times, seeing if you can beat your fastest time.

Winterize your activity

Try adopting your favorite warm-weather activity for a snow-filled winter’s day. Put on sturdy boots and go for a walk or hike along your favorite path. Take a soft or underinflated soccer ball outside and kick it around. Put food coloring in a spray bottle and make a hopscotch board in the snow. How about a good game of football, volleyball, or ultimate Frisbee in the snow? Just use your imagination and remember to keep moving!

Take it inside

If the weather is really not cooperating, plan some indoor activities. Put in an exercise video and give it a try. Turn on some music and cut up a rug. Find an indoor skating rink or recreation center and spend an afternoon there. Again, the key is to get up off that couch, find something you enjoy, and do it.

Make it a family affair

Winter can be a wonderful time for doing family-oriented activities. Remember how much fun it was as a kid to make snow angels or build a snowman? What’s stopping you now?

Try building a snow castle complete with snow bricks and snow furniture. Make a snow maze with your children and take turns seeing who can maneuver through it the fastest. Instead of a snowman, sculpt other creatures, real or imaginary, in the snow. Create tracks in the snow of different shapes and sizes then retrace those steps. Use footsteps or hops to spell out your childrens’ name in the snow. Hop from letter to letter as you create them.

While it may be tempting to curl up in front of the TV when the mercury drops, try to be active for 30 minutes or more, most days of the week. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you now and when spring comes.