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Health Information For Parents
Looking forward to the snowy season and all it has to offer? Winter can be a great time to get outside and keep fit — for you and your family.
But what if everyone in your house believes that winter is a time for hibernating in front of the TV? Don’t despair: the whole family can do lots of fun things once the weather turns frosty.
Once a chill is in the air, our bodies begin to want to conserve energy to use as heat. We tend to eat a little more and become less active. Being cooped up inside and being more sedentary can lead to the “cold-weather blahs.” Kids might feel more tired, lethargic, or even a little bored.
A good way to kick this feeling is to get them out into the snow to play! Winter can be a great time for family activities that allow you to spend time with your kids while being active.
Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing are just a few sports that everyone in your family can try.
Skiing. Alpine (downhill) skiing is an easy sport to try, but novice skiers should take a lesson first and get instructions on staying safe. Many ski resorts have reasonably priced lessons for first-timers. A competent instructor can show kids the proper techniques while also ensuring they start on a hill that’s appropriate for their skill level.
Cross-country skiing. For cross-country skiing, long, thin skis are used. This type of skiing uses a binding system that holds the ski boot to the ski by the boot’s toe. This lets the heel move up and down naturally, enabling skiers to travel long distances and climb hills. It’s a great cardiovascular workout and a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. Virtually any flat or near-flat snowy surface works.
Snowboarding. Snowboarding is also popular. Kids especially love this type of snow “surfing,” and many resorts offer the equipment for rental along with traditional skis. Snowboarding uses different techniques than downhill skiing, so your family should take a few lessons first. If you’ve been on a surfboard in water, you’ll find the snowboarding style familiar.
Snowshoeing. Snowshoeing doesn’t require any particular skills or specialized equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere there’s snow. The snowshoeing technique is as easy as walking, so anyone can do it. If you like walking, hiking, or running, you’ll find that strapping on a pair of snowshoes is a great way to work out. The slower pace of snowshoeing also allows family members to stay together. Traditional snowshoes can be strapped onto any pair of boots without heels and can be rented from an outdoor equipment retailer.
Ice skating. You may remember struggling with weak ankle support when ice skating as a child, but great improvements in skate design have improved the skating experience. Take your family out to the rink for an afternoon or evening of ice skating. Many rinks rent molded fiberglass skates that have more ankle support and warmth than figure skates.
If you’ve decided to make the best of the cold weather, why not plan a weekend escape? You can easily fill your trip with plenty of fun cold-weather sports that will appeal to everyone in your family.
The Internet is a good way to begin your search. Online travel reservation services can help with resort guides. Many communities host consumer shows that focus on cold-weather activities; keep an eye on your local paper for places and dates.
A travel agent will also have listings of resorts that specialize in winter activities. Another good place to check is your state tourism bureau; these agencies usually have free brochures that list events in your area.
As with all sports, it’s important to take the proper precautions to stay safe. Helmets are a must when kids are skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, and should be considered when sledding and ice skating. Knee pads, wrist guards, and shin guards also should be worn during winter sports. Even a low-speed spill can be damaging to delicate bones and joints.
To avoid hypothermia and frostbite, be sure that your family is well protected against the cold. Layers work best: begin with an undergarment made of a synthetic fiber that will wick away perspiration. A light shirt or turtleneck can go over that, followed by a sweater or fleece for warmth. Kids can always remove or add layers if needed. Don’t forget a hat, gloves, and sunglasses.
And apply use sunscreen — snow functions as a reflecting agent and can intensify the sun’s rays on skin, so kids can get a sunburn even during winter.
SkiNet.com offers news, polls, gear, and snow reports for skiers.
The mission of ASMI is to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries through research and education.
SnowLink has news, product information, and tips about alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
Sponsored by the American Cross Country Skiers, this site provides information about ski equipment, techniques, workouts, and more.
This site contains snowboarding-related articles, news and equipment information.
Factors beyond your control may affect driving conditions: rain, wind, snow, ice, bright sun, fog, and hail, just to name a few. So what should you do if you find yourself driving in bad weather?
Winter is a fun time of year. But while you’re out having fun, you have to know how to be safe. Check out our article for kids to learn how to stay safe in snow and cold weather.
In ice and snow, accidents can happen easily. Find out how to keep your family safe – and fit – while the weather is chilly.
As fun as it is, ice hockey carries a very real risk of injury. To keep your kids as safe as possible, follow these tips.
Don’t let the chill of winter turn you into a couch potato! Read this article to learn about some cool winter sports.
Snowboarding is a great way for kids to have fun and get exercise, but it has some very real dangers. These safety tips can help keep your kids safe on the slopes.
Snowboarding is a great way to have fun, but it can also present some very real dangers. Follow these safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes.
Skiing is fun but also has some very real dangers. Make sure your kids follow these safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes.
There’s a lot to love about skiing, but it can also present some very real dangers, from frostbite and sunburn to blown knees and head injuries. Follow these tips to stay safe on the slopes.
Sledding is a lot of fun, but can also cause injuries, some of them pretty serious. To keep yourself safe while sledding, follow these safety tips.
Sledding is a lot of fun, but can also cause injuries, some of them pretty serious. To keep your kids safe while sledding, make sure they follow these safety tips.
You’ll have more fun if you stay safe in the cold and snow. Find out how in this article for kids.
You can help prevent frostbite in cold weather by dressing kids in layers, making sure they come indoors at regular intervals, and watching for frostnip, frostbite’s early warning signal.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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