Slopeside Exercise

Some ideas for staying active when the snow and temperatures begin to drop.


A friend once sagely told me that winter was the season for hibernating and binge-watching Netflix. She is not wrong. But I could stand to improve my relationship with the dreaded white stuff that falls from the sky, and I’m trying to change my attitude by getting excited about the opening of some of our closest ski resorts.

I talked with Katie Buchan, communications manager for Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort, about a range of things we all can do slopeside to stay active once the snow starts. So while sitting under a blanket with endless popcorn sounds awesome, I’m excited about galloping around a mountain on a horse, sliding down a slope on a tube and maybe, just maybe, getting over my fear of chair lifts.

When will the resorts open? “That’s the million-dollar question,” Buchan says. After two weeks of below-freezing temps and humidity that’s low enough to make snow, they’re ready. The goal for Seven Springs and Hidden Valley this year is to be open by Black Friday, which they rename “White Friday.”

Keep it easy:  Explore the Laurel Highlands on horseback with a guided mountain trail ride, or relax in luxury touring the resort in a horse-drawn sleigh. For more information, call the Seven Springs Stables at 800/452-2223, ext. 7997. Over at Hidden Valley, grab a snow tube and hit the slopes — no experience needed, and gravity does all of the work. For more information, call Hidden Valley’s Snowtubing department at 814/443-8000, ext. 262.

Moderate activity:  Both Seven Springs and Hidden Valley have lessons for people of all ages who are looking to learn to ski or snowboard. Each offers the safety of an area with shaped snow that is helpful in learning to start, turn and stop. For more information, call the Hidden Valley Snowsports School at 814/443-8000, ext. 308 and the Seven Springs Snowsports School at 800/452-2223, ext. 7997.

Challenge yourself:  Hit the Seven Springs Terrain Parks and work your way up from the Arctic Blast, a beginner park intended to help you get used to the freestyle terrain, to the The Spot, a freestyle playground with an Olympic-size Superpipe. For more information, visit Over at Hidden Valley, check out the Snowboard Camp, where you can focus on learning to ride jumps and rails or carve your way down difficult mountain paths. For more information, call the Hidden Valley Snowsports School at 814/443-8000, ext. 308. 


photo via flickr creative commons



Cheap and nutritious, eggs are a great source of protein, riboflavin and vitamin B12, says nutritionist Julianne Hagan of Oakmont Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center.

If you’re looking for a new way to prepare eggs, consider one of Hagan’s favorite dishes — nasi goreng, an Indonesian take on stir-fried rice. Hagan makes a big batch of whole-grain or instant brown rice and pops it in the fridge. (Chilling the rice keeps it from becoming mushy.) She chops onion, carrots and any leftover bits of meat on hand, combines those ingredients with add-ins such as sweet soy sauce, garlic, shallots and chiles in a pan, and stirs in the rice.

In a separate pan, she makes a version of a three-egg omelette but stops before folding it together. Instead, she lets it cook, divides it into long strips and serves the strips over the rice.
–- JD

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