By Brian Godfrey, Physical Education Teacher, Richmond Elementary School, VT
Living in Vermont, where it’s cold and snowy for up to six months of the year, it’s important to find ways to be healthy and active during the winter months. As a physical education teacher, husband, and father of three, I’ve found that skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, or even going for brisk winter walk are great ways for my family and students to be physically active during the winter.
My goal is to inspire my children and students to be healthy and active throughout their lifetime. To often it seems that kids today spend more time using electronic devices than being physical active. One of the best ways to remove the temptations of electronics is to get your kids outside! Encouraging kids to go outside during the summer is one thing, but what options do you have when the snow is flying and the temperature has dropped below zero?
The easiest and often most fun thing to do during the winter, is to simply go outside and play. Build a snowman, make a snow angel, or go sledding. It’s fun and best of all it’s free. Being active during the winter can provide some financial barriers, but don’t let that stop you. Never pay full price for anything. Look online or in local ads for discounted equipment. As a teacher I’ve written grants and received free snowshoes, skis, skates, and snowboards for my students. Also for any of you teachers out there, try sending a note home asking for equipment donations. I’ve been able to get lots of ice skates, sleds, and other winter gear by doing this.
Being healthy and active during the winter can also provide fun family/community DIY projects. Before the snow falls, find a large flat area, lay boards and plastic down, and BAM!! You have a hockey rink. Be resourceful with outdoor space in your community. Groom cross country ski trails, snowshoeing trails, or have a winter carnival. Chances are there are many other people like you in your community who share your desire for winter movement opportunities and would join you in your efforts.
Winter enthusiast all around the world enjoy riding down the slopes skiing or snowboarding. A few years ago I created the Snow Motion Program, which provides free skiing & snowboarding for kids during the school day. Teaching kids to ski & snowboard is like magic on the slopes. If you would like to share in the magic by teaching your kids or students to ski or snowboard, I’ve attached a link to a book I wrote “A Volunteer's Guide: To Teaching Skiing and Snowboarding”
Make sure to take the time to be physically active this winter. Doing so will empower your kids to be healthy and active for a lifetime!
Link to Article