Friday, January 11, 2013

Top 10 Best Things About Sledding

As a family, we love sledding.
As individuals, I'm not so sure we would ever go out and just sled all by ourselves.
Going outdoors in a Canadian winter definitely is a social thing.

Toboggan party 1872-75

If you are going to brave the outdoors on a cold day, you might as well be with friends.

Some may say, spread the misery....

I say the more the merrier!

Some call it sledding, others the luge.
Some prefer the sledge, some call it tobogganing.
Some have dogs pulling theirs...
In Scandinavia, they call it a pulk.

Wikipedia says:

toboggan is a simple sled which is a traditional form of transport used by the Innu and Cree of northern Canada. In modern times, it is used on snow to carry one or more people (often children) down a hill or other slope for recreation. Designs vary from simple, traditional models to modern engineered composites. A toboggan differs from most sleds or sleighs in that it has no runners or skis (or only low ones) on the underside. The bottom of a toboggan rides directly on the snow

If anyone had any doubts about one of my favorite winter outdoor activities,
I thought I would break it down for the folks who aren't sold:

1.  Uneven ground builds up your ankle strength

2.  the enormous ab workout from laughing about spills

3.  carrying an extra 15 lbs in cold weather apparel just walking around
(think about it:  hat, gloves, long sleeved shirt, extra sweater, thick downy coat, scarf, leggings, long johns, thick socks, heavy water resistant boots, thick pants, extra pair of socks)
like doing cardio with leg weights on!

4.  a big uphill climb is better than any stair master in creation

5.  weight lifting 50 lbs of dead weight kids uphill
aka the "carry-me-carry-me" syndrome,
also a strong indicator of when its time to pack it in

6.  vitamin d from the sun during the winter months, when you may not be getting enough from other sources

7.  the flushed cheeks indicate you are improving your circulatory system

8.  better oxygen intake from the fresh crisp air

9.  the best part is when you outlast your kids on the hill...
better than completing any circuit training EVER!!!

10.  breathtaking views you'd never see sitting on yer couch or in the gym

I make sure to have a selection of hot chocolates and teas for the after party indoors.
We also have a lovely fireplace in our new its even more idyllic.
I serve hot soup or stew and fresh bread or biscuits.

Broccoli, cauliflower and wild & brown rice soup topped with Parmesan 
served with cheddar garlic biscuits...

It reminds me of winter days in my youth, say 7-8 yrs old...the last time I had a fireplace in my home.
Images of drying your mittens in front of the fire.
Smelling the crackling wood.

I also feel like I'm providing a lasting memory for my kids to think of fondly.

Winter is a thing to embrace.  Try to find something positive about your winter experience
and see how your perspective about the Canadian winter change.
(and this is coming from a former winter-hater)

What's your favorite thing to do in winter?

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