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Movement has always been an integral part of my life - it seems I have believed in the importance of being active pretty much from birth. As I grew up, went to school, tried to figure out my life (still working on that) and eventually settled on a career focused on physical education, that value remained at the forefront.

2021 marks my 28th year as a physical educator and over that time I have made the leap from thinking movement is important to a fundamental belief in the absolute, elemental, life-changing and life-giving need for human movement. It is essential to who we are as human beings and is absolutely critical to growth and development across the lifespan. However, being active is about so much more than burning calories and moving your muscles. Ultimately, movement can lead to meaning and joy.

Consider this quote from Scott Kretchmar, "When movement is experienced as joy, it adorns our lives, makes our days go better, and gives us something to look forward to. When movement is joyful and meaningful, it may even inspire us to do things we never thought possible. (2008)" As such, meaningful and joyful movement in #YEG right now means embracing winter! We are fortunate enough to live in a climate that has winter. Yup. I said it. Fortunate to have winter. Snow. Ice. Cold. Glorious. I believe that we should #embracewinter. After all, we embrace only the things we love! Winter and all its opportunities should be on that list.

Unfortunately, over the past number of years, I have seen that love erode away, even in Northern countries like Canada (although I think Norway and other Scandinavian countries still have it figured out!). Maybe it’s the over saturation of technology. Maybe we are afraid of frostbite. Maybe central heating and comfy couches have doomed us to a life without the joys of brilliant sun on blinding white snow and the sweet sounds of pucks and skates on outdoor ice. Or maybe not.

Here are 4 ways to embrace winter and #LiveActiveYEG. 1) Get some good longjohns - a base layer makes all the difference. 2) Play! Walk, slide, skate, ski - just get out and enjoy. 3) Learn something new - take a lesson, learn from a friend. 4) Model your love for winter with those around you.