Make your Holiday Season Action-Packed!

Snowshoeing on Grouse MountainYesterday, I was walking in a winter wonderland with a group of enthusiastic 6 and 7 year olds. Snowshoeing was the order of the day. Although suiting up was a bit chaotic, we had enough adults to get snowshoes on 19 kids in a very short time. Then we hit the trail for an hour with stops along the way to check out the trees and places of interest and…snack on a little fresh snow!

After an hour of snowshoeing – do you think the kids were exhausted? Maybe, but not for long…as soon as they saw a snowy downhill slope, they hopped right up to do a little rolling.

It was a fabulous day, and got me thinking about other ways to keep active as temperatures fall. Lucky for us there are many suggestions both on-line and in the media about getting outside when the weather turns colder.

The Child and Nature Alliance is one source, so is ParticipACTION, BC Alliance for Healthy Living and many other health organizations that are pointing out the benefits of not just activity, but getting out into our natural spaces. And it’s true.

Kids who normally would whine when asked to walk somewhere were excited and eager to strap on snowshoes and get moving. They fell lots (sometimes by accident and often on purpose), they got back up, they ran and shuffled and kicked up the snow. All in all, it was a great time.

Tips for success:

  • bring a map and know your route,
  • stick to the marked trails,
  • bring enough healthy snacks and water,
  • dress for the weather, with layers if you can, as when you’re moving it gets hot.

Also, go with another family with kids of similar ages and make an outing of it. Kids are much more likely to keep moving to catch up with a friend, than to please their parents. If you and your kids are just getting into snowshoeing or any activity, pick a route that isn’t too far, build up to more, and soon you’ll be driving up to the mountains or heading out the back door more often.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the time together as a family!

Samantha Hartley-Folz
Manager, Policy and Programs
December 2013

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