Are you a winter sports enthusiast or are you planning to become one? If you live in the northeastern United States or a region of the world which experiences four seasons, winter is a part of your life. Although most people who grew up in a region where snow occurred during winter recall playing in the snow, many adults admit that snow and cold are something they complain about. I know people who relocated to a southern, warmer climate in order to escape winter altogether. I am not among those who yearn for life without snow or cold. I enjoy snow and cold and actually began cross country (Nordic) skiing twenty years ago and recently began taking downhill (Alpine) skiing lessons.
The winter sports that come to my mind include skiing, ice skating, hockey, tobogganing, ice fishing, sledding, ice sailing or yachting, as well as many others. As long as you are dressed for the weather and have checked the local forecast, there is no reason to stay indoors or exercise indoors in winter.
As always, before you begin a new sport be sure to see your primary care physician/provider to insure that your heart and lungs are healthy enough to exercise. Also, before starting a new sport do your research; read articles, books, blogs or listen to podcasts on the subject or consider taking lessons. For example, before my husband and I started cross country skiing we visited Wilderness Lodge in Wattsburg, PA. We rented equipment and took a lesson on a weekend. Even before that we bought a book on skiing for beginners. I fell in love with the sport and within a few months we had bought our own equipment. On weekends we would head out to Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA or other PA state parks to ski. I discovered how quickly one warms up from exercising despite winter cold, as long as you are moving you are warm.
We did the same when we decided to take up Alpine (downhill) skiing. We rented equipment and look lessons at both Peek n Peak in Clymer, NY; as well as Mount Pleasant in Edinboro, PA. The best ski instructor we found is at Mount Pleasant named Heather Johnson. This is our fifth year of downhill skiing, we hope to continue our sport for many years. We see senior citizens skiing and enjoying the sport as much as younger people. We have skied at Seven Springs and Holiday Valley resorts and plan to broaden our scope of places to ski.
Perhaps the best reason to pick a winter sport is to simply get outdoors to exercise, breathe fresh air, enjoy nature and the sights and sounds thereof! Studies have shown how exercise elevates mood and prevents depression. Exercise is good for you but do it safely. I am not only an amateur athlete but also a sports physician. I offer sports screenings of the lower extremity before you begin your sport. Call for your appointment today. If you don’t have health insurance no worries, I offer affordable out-of-pocket fees for your consideration. 814.882.2663