December 5th, 2016
Happy December! December brings cooler temperatures and maybe even wintry precipitation to our North Carolina forecast. Personally, I love this wintry change but know others do not share the same sentiments. Planning recreation activities for the winter can be tough with the limitation of outdoor facilities. This wellness blog will give you some fun ways to stay fit during the winter.
Cooler temperatures bring the chance for your department to try some cool and unique winter-themed programs. A number of our departments have had winter programs featuring ice skating rinks & even artificial snow. These programs are fun for a wide range of people and promote active communities.
According to Orthopedic surgeon Angela Smith from WebMd.com, ice skating builds muscles, boosts balance, flexibility, quickness, and agility. There’s also health benefits from playing in the snow! Both sledding and other traditional snow activities burn calories and are fun ways to get people active in the colder weather.
Artificial snow is a great option for providing the required snow when the weather’s not cooperating. Many of our departments who hold snowy events use an artificial snow company named Snow My Yard. At these events snow is usually set up on a hill for sledding, or in a field for other snow activities. Even some of our departments from the coast have success with artificial snow! If your department is located near a ski resort, establish a contact with them. You could potentially hold partner events where more people can have fun in the snow.
The winter is also a time for some of my favorite outdoor activities. Birdwatching is made a bit easier against the backdrop of bare trees. Hiking the same old trails offer exciting new views in the winter when the leaves have fallen. Check out your department trails for any neat sights that are more easily viewed when the leaves have fallen. If you discover any new sights, make sure you post photos and distribute information to let your community know!
It’s very important to stay warm while participating in outdoor activities during the winter. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who do not have the means to obtain winter coats and other clothing. In order to help alleviate this problem, try holding a department winter coat drive. If you are holding some sort of winter event, set up collection containers at the entrance gates and encourage the community to bring their used winter coats.
There are some great resources online to assist in the planning and promotion of winter coat drives. This how-to from AARP gives a step-by-step plan for establishing a coat drive.
Indoor activities also make for a great option, especially in the winter. In September, the NCRPA Wellness Blog discussed online fitness. The post has some good options for utilizing whatever small space your department may have open to conduct online guided workout classes.
Hopefully, this wellness blog has given you some tips on how to make the most out of the colder weather that winter brings. Encourage your communities to stay safe and get outside this winter!
Until next time,