Tiger Talk: Tips for winter recreation and healthy habits
Snowshoes, skiing, skating and walking are all options to stay healthy in the winter
PINE RIVER — Living in Minnesota can have its challenges with long winters and harsh weather conditions.
However, it also gives us opportunities to explore the outdoors in ways that others do not get to experience.
Being up north allows us to get creative with our recreational activities and build healthy lifelong habits. Here are some fun ideas to keep you mentally and physically healthy through our Minnesota winters.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
Snowshoeing and skiing have many benefits and are great ways to get outside, explore nature and get your heart rate up.
Snowshoeing is a low-impact muscle toning/building activity. It builds your endurance, helps improve balance and strength, and reconnects you to nature.
Cross-country skiing has many of the same benefits but gives you a bit more of a full-body workout. It also allows you to put on more miles quickly as you glide over the trails.
We have several trails around our area for both skiing and snowshoeing (separate trails).
Pine River-Backus Community Education has snowshoes available to the public for weekend checkout if you would like to try them before you purchase a pair of your own. We have sizes for youth and adults.
Call Community Ed at 218-587-2080.
If you are looking for an easy trail, our students and staff have already taken advantage of this opportunity and enjoy walking through the school forest, which is nicely packed now.
Ice skating is another great way to keep active and enjoy the outdoors. We are fortunate in our area to have easy access to great places to ice skate.
We have several outdoor rinks available, including right here in Pine River. The city of Pine River provides a regulation ice rink that measures 85 feet by 200 feet, with a general skating rink adjacent and around it. They are open seven days a week from sunrise until 10 p.m. with lights.
The heated 16- by 16-foot warming house is open to the public and provides a nice warm place to don skates or to take a rest from the elements.
Plastic "skate trainers" are available on site for young children who are just learning how to skate. A fire pit is on site for warming those fingers and toes while outside! Firewood is provided. Port-a-potties are on site during the skating season.
For skaters who do not have their own skates, skates are available through Pine River Community Ed at 218-587-2080 during regular school hours. Skates can be checked out for a day or for the whole skating season.
This is a lot of fun for the whole family. Check out the Friends of the Pine River Ice Rink for current information on the rink.
Ice fishing continues to grow in popularity, especially in the land of 10,000 lakes. This is a great activity for families or to socialize with a couple of friends.
Ice fishing is more than sitting on a bucket and waiting for a bite; it offers an opportunity to experience the outdoors and explore our lakes from a new perspective.
Walking the PR-B School halls
If you want to stay active but do not necessarily enjoy the cold of winter, we have more options for you. The PR-B School is open for hall walkers to get in a great workout without the worry of slippery roads or harsh weather conditions.
PR-B High School is open from 6:45–7:45 a.m. and/or 3:30–8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The outer doors will be locked at 7 p.m., but you will still be able to exit the building after this time.
You must be done walking by 8 p.m. for security and building cleaning.
Pick up a name badge/walking pass from the PR-B Community Ed office (Door 33). This is a free activity that is open to adults and youth accompanied by a guardian.
The PR-B adult volley program is held from 6:30-9 p.m. every Wednesday in the PR-B Performance Gym.
This is a low-cost activity ($25/season or $3/day) offered through PR-B Community Ed.
This is a recreational indoor volleyball program that can really get your blood pumping. It is a great way to meet people and stay active and healthy while having a lot of fun.
All levels are welcome to participate and you can come and go with whatever works for your schedule.
I hope you all have a wonderful winter season and get the chance to try some of the great winter activities available in our area.
If you are interested in being part of PR-B Community Ed or have ideas for us, please complete the short survey online at prbschools.org on the Community Ed webpage.
Troy Gregory is the Pine River-Backus School District Community Education director.