Winter! It is a love-hate relationship. Children love it, adults for the most part do not. Cruel windshields, excessive snowfall, and tough driving conditions make it all the more reason why we as adults generally do not look forward to the long winter months.
When I was a kid, I absolutely loved winter. Whether that was building snowmen, ice skating, tobogganing, or playing touch football, winter always provided plenty of fun physical activities. As I have gotten older though, winter has become far less exciting.
The reality is, many are not able to escape winter (unless of course, you live in a place where it doesn’t snow). The notion of having to endure four to six cold stormy months, generally resulted in myself having a poor attitude. It wasn’t until recently however that I started to change my mindset to be more upbeat and positive, while also finding joy in what makes winter so exciting. There are plenty of winter activities that you can do to help maintain physical fitness while also appreciating the season. Romans 15:13 says “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”.
Skating provides both the ability to exercise while also providing lots of fun. Whether you go along the river trail, ponds, or outdoor skating rinks, there are never a shortage of places to ice skate. If you are someone with young kids, seeing them on the ice provides pride and joy as a parent and also as a grandparent.
Get a group of friends or family members and get a game going! What better way than to enjoy communion with good friends and family while getting a great workout. Hebrews 10:24-25 says “let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Cross country skiing
I began cross country last winter and I must admit, it is a fantastic way to keep in shape. Enjoy the trails with friends or family and enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding you on all sides.
Who doesn’t enjoy tobogganing? Young or old, going down a hill at a decent rate of speed provides entertainment and tremendous cardio by having to hike your way back up the hill. I myself look forward to the day when I can take my son down the hill for the very first time.
Although walking is more ideal in pristine conditions, it can still be done throughout the winter. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy taking my six month old out for his daily walks. We as a family love to visit the various National Parks in our city that provide amazing winter scenery while keeping up with our physical fitness. By walking everyday, for thirty minutes, you lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, decrease stress, reduce chronic illnesses, and will add years to your life (Rabbitt, 2018).
Last, but not certainly not least, is shoveling. The winter months are unforgiving when it comes to the amount of snowfall. Shoveling snow provides a great source of physical activity while also making our wives happy!
Now although this list may seem obvious, the key is to get into a positive mindset and accept the fact that winter is among us. Instead of looking out the window, dreading that there’s snow everywhere, get outside and learn to love and appreciate what winter has to offer.
If you choose not to, you may be in for an even longer winter. Romans 12:2 says “do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”. Bayside church sums it up best saying “changing the way you think changes your perspective which changes how you act in the world” (Bayside Church, 2016, para.11).