These cold months with inclement weather make it easy to recede into the house, hibernating until spring. There is a certain amount of inertia that happens during the winter, and it can lead to the blues, lack of concentration and of course, weight gain and lethargy. It’s really important that we double down on our efforts through the first couple months of the year so that we are productive, happy and healthy.
If winter sports are not traditionally your thing, you might want to think beyond skiing and snowboarding, especially if you have small children. There are plenty of fun activities to experiment with and everyone in your family big and small can get involved.
- Cross country skiing. Instead of braving the downhill, try something flat that acquaints the kids with the dynamics of the snow. It’s cheap to rent the equipment and if you have a baby, you can bundle him or her up and put them in a back carrier to go along for the ride!
- Sledding is another way to get familiar with the snow, using a tube, a sled, a disc or even a piece of waxed cardboard! Adults should go with younger kids on the first few runs so they learn the concept of leaning to steer.
- Curling is a strange but totally nifty sport originally invented in Scotland, where players slide a disc of stone across the ice and try to target specific areas marked out a bit like a bullseye. There are actually curling clubs all over the country, and kids love it because it’s kind of like bowling on ice.
- Hockey. Yes, kids love hockey, when it’s played safely and girls get to participate, its really fun! You can start with a half court and just have fun taking turns being the shooter and the goalie.
- Snow shoeing is exciting and it’s also great exercise. Make sure your kids have the right size snowshoes and pick a trail that you know they can manage. Also, don’t forget your camera because there will be some great nature photo ops!
- Ice fishing. If you have never fished in the winter, you are missing out! This is a great activity to do with an older relative or an experienced fisherman, but bringing home a catch on a chilly winter day and making a meal is a really special experience.
- Downhill Skiing and snowboarding. There is, of course the classic winter experience of downhill sports, just make sure that you utilize a coach for the beginners and exercise plenty of patience and supervision. Being young is a great time to learn because they can get their falls out of the way early.
So get out there and try something new! You never know – someone in your family could become the next winner of the Iditarod, or the next long distance cross-country skiing champion. Winter doesn’t have to be a bummer; it can be an opportunity to try new things and bond.