All posts by Galen Newman

Winter Activities in Prince Edward County

If you’re anything like me, then winter is something to be survived, rather than a time to thrive. I bare winter because I have to, not because I have some burning desire to endure chilling temperatures and take pleasure in shoveling the driveway.

Nevertheless, there are certain activities that make winter more enjoyable and may just help you embrace the season after all. If you’re looking for winter activities in Prince Edward County, then look no further than this blog post.

Prince Edward County happens to be a hub for winter activities. Try one (or all!) of these activities this chilly season and see if it changes your outlook on winter.

1.Go snowshoeing

There are endless snowshoeing opportunities in Prince Edward County. If you have your own pair and want to head out solo or with some friends, try going to the Millennium Trail or Sandbanks Provincial Park. Both offer great trails, but you’ll have to share the road with other activists, like cross country skiers, or even snowmosbilers on the Millennium Trail.

If you’re looking to rent snowshoes, there are a couple of wineries in the county that rent them and have trails accessible right from their properties. Check out Sugarbush and Three Dog Winery. This is an excellent family-friendly activity that also allows the adults in the group to sip on something a little warmer than your average cup of hot cocoa.

Another good spot to mix adult beverages and family fun is Apple Falls Cider Co., located at Campbell’s Orchard on the Rednersville Road. That means you can enjoy a nice glass of cider while indulging in all the delicious home-baked treats available for purchase at the farm store.

The orchard paths are open to walkers all year and are a modest two kilometers long. Weather permitting you can head out for a snowshoe instead. Bring your own or borrow some from the orchard. (All that’s required is a piece of ID.)

Don’t forget your thermos – you’ll want to fill it up with steamy hot apple cider from the farm store before you head out on your adventure! This is a fun winter activity that the whole family can enjoy, even Fido! Leashed pets are welcome on the trail, as are well-behaved children.

Personally speaking, snowshoeing really helped me get through last year’s winter, so I would suggest giving it a try. For the first time in my adult years, I look forward to a good snowfall so I can break out my snowshoes.

2.Go cross country skiing

There’s something so incredibly peaceful about cross country skiing at Sandbanks Provincial Park. This is an activity my family enjoyed often last winter, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Not only is cross country skiing an excellent workout, but it’s also a chance to enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful scenery that the winter season brings. If you’re familiar with the park in the nice weather, prepare to be taken aback. The snow seems to transform the area, as if it’s a world of its own among the snow-covered trees.

This is one activity not to be missed! (The park isn’t officially open and does not provide any ski rentals, so you’ll have to bring your own and enjoy the landscape at your own risk.)

3. Visit a winery, brewery, cidery, or spirit house

I mentioned a couple of wineries in the Snowshoeing section above (Sugarbush and Three Dog), but did you know many of the wineries, breweries, cideries, and spirit houses in PEC are open all year round? There are many benefits to visiting this time of year. Chances are you won’t have to battle the crowds you’re familiar with in the summer, and your experience may feel even more unique and special if you’re getting one-on-one attention from the staff.

Midtown Brewing Company in Wellington has a skating rink (weather permitting) that’s great for anything from a free skate to a game of pick-up hockey.

Kinsip House of Fine Spirits is also open all year long and not a place to be missed in the winter season!

4.Hit the beach

 I mentioned this briefly above, but Sandbanks Provincial Park is truly a sight to be seen in the winter time. Some years it’s easy to imagine the ice and snow buildup on the water as glaciers, so transformed it is from the blazing summer days. Walking the beach is a great way to take in these sights and experience a place in a different way than you may have done before. One word of advice: Bundle up and pack a thermos of cocoa, the wind can be fierce here on a winter’s day.

5.Go skating

Skating is a great activity that the entire family can enjoy.  There are two arenas in Prince Edward County: The Prince Edward Community Centre at 375 Main Street in Picton and the Wellington and District Community Centre at 111 Belleville Street in Wellington.

Check out the ​Public Skating Schedule

(​http://www.thecounty.ca/media/pe-county/documents/department/communitycenters/February2019-Public-Skating.pdf) for both arenas for February 2019. You can also enjoy a fun game of shinny hockey

(​http://www.thecounty.ca/media/pe-county/documents/department/communitycenters/February2019-Ticket-and-Shinny-Hockey-Schedule.pdf) at both of these locations.

If you’re looking for an outdoor experience, Midtown Brewery in Wellington has an outdoor rink that’s open when the weather permits. They also offer skate rentals if you can’t bring your own!

7 Reasons Why Taking a Vacation Is Good For Your Health

 

skeeze / Pixabay

Being on vacation feels good. You know it, I know it, it’s no big surprise. But you may not know that there are proven scientific reasons as to why taking a vacation is beneficial healthwise. So go ahead and book that flight to Cuba or weekend getaway in Prince Edward County, science says so. Here are seven reasons why a vacation is good for your health:

1.     Your stress levels decrease

A study published in the journal Psychology and Health concluded that vacation time diminished perceived job stress and burnout in blue-collar workers in the industrial sector. Stress levels decreased immediately after the vacation, and stayed low for a month before returning to “prevacation levels”. But the timeline on vacations and stress relief varies between studies.

Another study released by the American Psychological Association found that vacation time reduced stress by removing the source of the stressor, but stress levels increased again immediately upon returning to work.

However the cookie crumbles, the evidence that vacations decrease stress levels seems to be pretty indisputable.

2.      You sleep better

When’s the last time you got a good night’s sleep? ​Statistics Canada​ reports that a whopping one-third of Canadian adults “sleep fewer hours per night than recommended for optimal physical and mental health.” That’s a lot of people.

And lack of sleep is no joke. According to Statistics Canada, consistently insufficient sleep is tied to a variety of health concerns, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, irritability, and reduced well-being, to name a few.

Studies show that people tend to sleep better on vacation. This may be due to the fact that vacations disrupt the factors that contribute to poor sleep, including demands placed on you by your workplace and social commitments. If you can’t sleep because you have a lot on your mind, vacations offer a chance for you to put aside those problems and sleep peacefully.

3.      You’re more productive

Productivity goes hand in hand with burnout. If you’re feeling overworked and burnt out at work, then you’re not going to be very productive. Taking time away from work to recharge and reduce your stress levels, in turn, increases your on the job productivity when you return.

Studies show that productivity can increase even after a quick weekend getaway, with more enhanced benefits seen with longer vacation time.

A vacation also gets you out of your normal day-to-day routine and can spur creativity. Sometimes a creative mindset is the just the ticket to help you solve a work-related problem, thereby making you more productive when you return.

4.      Your heart is happier

The ​Government of Canada​ states heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada. That’s a scary statistic, but studies indicate that you can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease, simply by taking a vacation. Yes, you read that right.
A ​study​ conducted by Air New Zealand in partnership with former NASA scientists concluded that going on vacation lowered travelers’ heart rates by more than four percent!
A study by the​ National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute​ found that men at high risk of coronary heart disease, who take frequent annual vacations, were 32% less likely to die from heart disease (and 21% less likely to die from any cause).
A separate study known as the ​Framingham Heart Study​ found that men who didn’t take time off for many years were 30% more likely to have heart attacks than those who did go on vacation.

In the same study, women who vacationed just once every six years were almost eight times more likely to develop heart disease, have a heart attack, or die of coronary-related causes than those who vacationed a minimum of twice a year.

5.      You’re less likely to experience depression and anxiety

According to a ​study​ conducted in rural Wisconsin, women who vacationed less often (less than once every two years) were more likely to struggle with depression and high stress levels than those who vacationed more often (at least twice a year).
Another study conducted by the ​University of Pittsburgh​ found that vacations, as a leisure activity, contributed to less depression and more positive emotions.

6.      You’ll have faster reaction times

Okay, this may be one benefit you weren’t expecting to read. But that ​study​ I mentioned earlier that was conducted by Air New Zealand in partnership with former NASA scientists also found reaction time in participants was higher after the trip than it had been before the vacation.

If your job or hobby demands you to be quick on your feet, go on vacation and reap the reaction time rewards when you return.

7.      You might live longer

There are a lot of claims out there that adding or removing habits from your life can help you live longer. Eat more vegetables you’ll live longer. Exercise more often you’ll live longer. While this may be the case, did you ever expect me to tell you: “Go on that vacation you’ve been dying to book, you’ll live longer”?

Finally here’s a fun activity that you actually enjoy doing that can contribute to longevity!