Outdoor Family Fun To Wrap Up The Christmas Season

World Snowboarding Day

Outdoor Family Fun To Wrap Up The Christmas Season

During the winter it’s easy to hole up inside like a pack of bears hibernating. However, humans are not bears and there’s a lot of fun to be had outside. This Christmas season, take your family outdoors, get some sunshine and have some good old-fashioned family fun. Here are five ways to have outdoor family fun this Christmas.

#1 Snowbowl

Have a phenomenal game of touch or tackle football in the snow. If you have enough friends together to have eleven people on each team, great. If not, divide the group you have evenly. Dig out the end zones and use cones to mark the corners. It might help to have scarves or hats that are the same color so you can tell who’s on your team, but it’s not a requirement. Hit the snowy gridiron and have some fun!

#2 Sledding

Sledding is fun for all ages and you don’t even need a fancy sled. Plastic disc and toboggan style sleds are available inexpensively but you can also use the lid of a garbage can or a cardboard box in a pinch.Find the biggest, fastest hill you can get to and enjoy a day of rip-roaring fun!

#3 Build a family snowman

This is a great outdoor activity for kids of all ages. Everybody loves to make snowmen. Adults and older children can help pushing the snowball around when it gets too large for the little ones to manage. Young children can be tasked with finding items to adorn the snowman with.

#4 Snow forts and snow angels

Who doesn’t like to make a snow angel or build a fort? If you live in a snowy area it’s almost a required outdoor activity. Depending on how much snow has fallen, you can dig down to create a trench and use the snow you’ve excavated to help build your fortress walls. You can pack the snow by hand or use plastic storage boxes to create snow bricks of different sizes. Sandwich boxes, quart boxes and diaper wipe boxes are great options for making snow bricks or you can go to the toy store and buy snow brick makers.

#5 Snowy obstacle course

Build ramps, hurdles and other obstacles in the snow and challenge each other to run the course. The fastest time wins. The great thing about doing it in the snow is that if you fall, you’ve got a lovely cold cushion to crash onto.

#6 Snowboarding, skiing and tubing

If you have the time and a resort nearby, you can have a great day of family fun out on the slopes. Skiing and snowboarding are great exercise and a lot of wintry fun. A more family-oriented activity on the slopes is to go snow tubing. The tubes are available in single and group-sized. Sledding down the slopes in your snow tube is a great day with friends and family.

#7 Ice Skating

If you have a local pond that has frozen over, ice skating is an age-old way to have fun. People have been skating for winter entertainment for centuries. It’s quite relaxing to glide around dancing on the ice with your loved ones.

Other fun things to do

You can also simply enjoy a hike, walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the Christmas lights or sing carols to your neighbors.

There are a number of outdoor activities to enjoy during the Christmas season. Find one that’s right for your family. Create new family traditions, enjoy spending time together and make it a Christmas to remember.

The 9 Ways That Dancing Can Help You Live A Better Life

Nine Ladies Dancing

The 9 Ways That Dancing Can Help You Live A Better Life

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Nine really good reasons to go dancing as often as possible. As New Year’s Resolutions go, dancing is a fun way to hit a lot of the most popular categories. Dancing comes in a variety of styles, but all of them render a variety of health benefits that we’ll discuss below.

Dancing Your Way To Optimum Health And Happiness

Unlike a lot of gym workouts, dancing is fun and you can keep at it for hours at a time. Likewise, you don’t need special equipment to do it. All you need is some music and a bit of floor space. Even if the music is only in your head or if you’re humming a tune to keep time, you can boogie oogie oogie ’til you just can’t boogie no mo’.

1) Better Balance

ballet-poseDepending on the type of dance you select, balance can play a major part in executing the choreography correctly. Even if you’re just moving to the beat and waving your arms around, dancing works most muscle groups in your body and leads to improved tone, posture and balance. All of these benefits can help if you’re getting older and less steady on your feet. Taking some time out of your busy week to go dancing can help you stay strong and limber well into your golden years.

2) Diminishes Depression

Studies have shown that dance can have an observable positive effect on people suffering from depression. The cardiovascular workout circulates oxygen-rich blood throughout the body and the aspect of being in a positive social setting with a lot of people who are having fun can cause a sympathetic response. People who go dancing have demonstrated less depressive symptoms. Get your heart pumping, your heart singing and your soul reaching out to your fellow dancers if you want a surefire cure for the blues.

3) Expand Energy

hip-hop-energyThe funny thing about the human body is that the more you use it, the more you can. Engaging in exercise of any kind on a regular basis fires up your internal batteries and generates more and more energy. Start slow and keep at it. With dancing, this isn’t all that hard. The more you do it, the more you’ll want to.

4) Find Friends

When you pick a style of dance you would like to engage in, you’re automatically set up to find people who have something in common with you. When you’re in a positive social setting with music you enjoy and people who like the same music as you, you’re already in your happy place. Staying socially active increases happiness which reduces stress and boosts your immune system.

5) Fortify Flexibility and Salves Stiffness

dancing-starsMost styles of dance work all the major muscle groups in your body without being jarring like jogging or team sports. Because you’re staying active and moving in a fluid and rhythmic way, the muscles will stay supple and flexible. When your muscles are worked actively without overdoing it, you won’t experience the kind of stiffness that you experience from a weight lifting session or a game of tackle football.

6) Heart Health

dancingBecause you are moving, your heart will benefit. If you suffer from a cardiovascular disorder, taking up a slow form of dance such as ballroom dancing or certain cultural forms can improve breathing, circulation and overall health. Because there are so many kinds of dance, you can choose the one that is right for you and your physical condition.

7) Slashes Stress

choreographyHaving a chance to get out with friends, listening to music you enjoy and taking a few turns with your favorite dance partner can do wonders to alleviate stress in your life. The sense of togetherness that comes from dancing with a partner or a group of friends takes your mind off of your worries for a while. The aerobic workout and social interaction will improve your frame of mind.

8) Stimulates The Smarts

Aerobic exercise like dance can reverse volume loss in the memory centers of your brain. If you are doing a specifically choreographed style of dance, having to remember the steps and the correct sequence can help to keep the brain active and offset potential development of dementia. As much as we like to sit down, switch on the TV and zone out for the night, that’s really the road to doom. Getting out and engaging socially and concentrating on your dance steps will forestall the ravages of old age.

9) Winnow Weight

elephantdancingdollThis is a gimme. Move more + eat less = lose weight. When you’re dancing, you can burn 400 or more calories an hour depending on the style and intensity. Slower forms will only burn about 200 calories per hour, while faster dancing can burn almost 400 calories per hour. Since it is enjoyable, it is easier for you to keep at it which helps to maintain the consistency needed to lose and maintain your desired body weight.

An added benefit that I discovered for dance is not only that it’s fun, but that it can keep you warm! I was working in a factory that hadn’t quite figured out how to work a thermostat. Some days, when it was really cold out, it was really cold inside as well. By turning on my mental play list, I kept my body moving. This raised my core body temperature and circulated warm blood to my extremities. What’s more, my coworkers got a free show. I kept warm and spread a lot of Christmas cheer. You can’t ask for a better result than that!

Let us know how dance has improved your life. If you haven’t started yet, give it a try. As resolutions go, this one ticks all the boxes. Give it a try this year. Your body and your mind will thank you.

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