Having been born and raised in Montana I’m very well acquainted with winter. Staying active during the long winter season isn’t really difficult. The difficult part is deciding that being active is really an okay thing to do. Mother Nature helps us along tremendously every time the snow falls. After every snowfall or during the snowfall shoveling needs to be done. This activity is really great for the old ticker; so much so that, if you’re not careful a heart attack can happen. So, let’s be careful out there. It would be the pits if you started out clearing your sidewalk and ended up in the hospital.
Another winter activity that many people indulge in is skiing, whether it’s cross country or having to find the nearest mountain then shelling out big bucks for the privilege of riding on an open chair lift to the top of said mountain. Cross country skiing is similar to jogging, only you’re using skis and ski poles to get yourself around in the snow.
If you’re not inclined to ski or cross country ski your way around–you can grab all the sleds, all the kids and go to the nearest safe place to go sledding. In Glendive we have several safe, hilly places where we like to go sledding. We also like to go out in the country, rope the sleds to the bumper of the pickup and pull the kids along while they are sitting in the sleds. It’s similar to waterskiing only we use sleds. I haven’t tried using snowboards or skis doing this, although I’m sure it would be fun. The vehicle is slowly driven around. The passenger is on the lookout for any people who might have fallen out of the sled. Laughter is in abundance in this activity.
Ice Skating is a fun activity. I suggest you make a thermos or two of hot chocolate (or coffee for the adults and hot chocolate for the kids) to take with you. Granola bars, cookies or other kinds of treats are also welcomed. Eating outside just makes everything taste better. Remember to dress warmly with layers of clothing rather than something big and heavy. You can move around easier when wearing several thin layers of clothing.
A fun indoor activity is roller skating or roller blading. If there is a place where your family can go skating, by all means, take advantage of it. Just remember, this is not a roller derby and no points are allowed for tripping someone.
If you live in northern climates and would like a break from the snow and ice, take a winter vacation to somewhere with a milder climate. We have done this several times and always enjoy ourselves. Our favorite place to go is the San Francisco area. When we get on the plane in Montana we are wearing our winter coats. When we get off the plane in San Francisco or San Jose our coats are not needed. We always stand out as tourists because we don’t wear our coats.
If you live in an area of mild climate and would like to shovel snow and scrape ice off the windshield of your car just hop in a northern bound flight. You won’t be disappointed.