As the semester comes to a close, winter is fast approaching for West Chester University students. Over the month-long holiday break, it may be easy to become lethargic and lazy. Many people don’t realize that even though the day is cold and dreary, there are so many opportunities that could be taken advantage of that could help lead a healthier lifestyle and brighten the day. After a huge snowstorm, some people may dread having to go out and shovel the driveway or walkway to their houses. What they might not realize is that 50 minutes of snow shoveling is considered moderate physical activity, according to Dr. Julie Garden-Robinson, a food and nutrition specialist at North Dakota State University. Even if the snow forces someone to skip visiting the gym that day, by going out and shoveling, they are already getting their exercise!
Even though one can go ice-skating at an arena all year round, there is nothing quite like going ice-skating once the outside world is frozen over. There is something so innocent about going with friends to a local pond and playing games on the ice. Besides offering the advantage to being outside in the fresh air and spending quality time with old friends, ice-skating also provides an excellent work out. According to calorie-count.com, just one hour of skating burns an average of 490 calories!
If are up to the challenge, skiing or snowboarding is another exciting way to get out of the house during the winter months. Many resorts that are close and affordable offer special rates for college students. The experience can provide a rush like no other and a sense of fulfillment for attempting a different sport. Of course, it also provides excellent exercise. Like ice-skating, skiing can burn up to 490 calories in only one hour.
If skating or skiing is too fast paced, there are other outdoor options to enjoying winter. Playing outside in the snow can bring back memories of childhood fun. Whether it’s having a contest to see who can create the most unique snowman, building an igloo to play make-believe games, or having snowball fights against others, WCU students can realize that sometimes age is not important and the stresses of life can easily disappear with the simple pleasures that nature offers.
Since the holiday season happens to fall during the winter, people should take advantage of errands. Walking laps around the mall while shopping for gifts is a good way to stay fit. It also may help to prevent getting stressed out over which presents to purchase for whom. This way, when the coffee shop across from your favorite store is advertising a delicious seasonal drink, heading over and having a treat may be a guilt free experience!
Living in the Philadelphia area means that one of the most visited cities in the world is only two hours away. Going to New York City and seeing the famous Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center may be an experience like no other. Walking up and down the decorated streets of Fifth Avenue could help with several holiday tasks – exercise, shopping, and self-indulgence.
The cold outside should not mean winter blues. With all the fun-filled advantages available in the Northeast, it would seem wrong not to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities. So, go get those shovels, dust off your ice skates and create your own magical winter wonderland.