Live54218: Connect With Your Community Through The Cold

Mario Gonzalez(Photo: Courtesy of Live54218)

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Those few 50-degree days in late November were a nice distraction from what every person who calls northeastern Wisconsin home knows — it’s just a matter of time until the bitter cold temps and snow arrive. When that happens, it’s very easy to hole up indoors and hibernate for the winter.

Enjoying the warmth and comfort of the indoors isn’t a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it's just the right thing to help rejuvenate our minds and bodies. However, it is important to balance time to recharge and time to socialize to ensure quality health and well-being year-round. Here’s why.

Social isolation has been linked to reductions in lifespan and physical health. In a recent Harvard Business Review, a former surgeon general remarked, “Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.”

Avoiding connection to your community during the colder months can lead to social isolation. The good news is there are a wealth of opportunities throughout Greater Green Bay to keep you connected all winter long.

For winter sports fans — snowmobilers, skiers, snowshoers — the winter season can’t come soon enough. But aside from traditional outdoor winter sports, let’s not forget all the other ways you can get active outside. Parks throughout our communities create ice rinks for skating. The Green Bay Packers Titletown District’s new ice rink and sledding hill is a new option to be active and connect with other fans. And for the second year, the Fox River Trail will have snow removed allowing residents to access this community asset year-round.

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Ben Renkas, 6, of De Pere, skates past the Christmas tree on the ice skating pond Thursday in Titletown. The park is part of the Green Bay Packers' Titletown District in Ashwaubenon. (Photo: Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wi)

If you’re looking for other ways to connect to the community aside from a physical aspect, there’s plenty to do as well. Downtown Green Bay Inc., On Broadway Inc., Definitely De Pere and all of the other local business hubs have lots to offer for the holiday season, whether it be through shopping or seasonal events and shows. You can also take a stroll through your neighborhood to take in the decorations or check out the Garden of Lights at the Green Bay Botanical Garden. And of course, there are also seasonal shows happening at the Meyer Theatre and Weidner Center that create opportunities to connect with all that Greater Green Bay has to offer.

With the holiday season approaching, there are many volunteer opportunities and ways to give back. Whether that’s giving your time to a local shelter, the Salvation Army ringing bells, helping to deliver for Meals on Wheels, or any nonprofit organization or cause, the season of giving allows you time to connect with and serve those in your community. Need some help figuring out who could use a volunteer? Check out the Volunteer Center of Brown County to learn more about all the ways you can get involved in our community during the winter season and beyond.

Winter will be here before we know it. But that doesn’t mean all the ways we get active and connect in our community throughout the rest of the year-end. Greater Green Bay offers opportunities to be social, active and to connect with this place we call home ... just in a “cooler” way. 

Mario Gonzalez is the community engagement lead for Live54218. Share your thoughts, questions and topic suggestions by emailing info@live54218.org.

Source : http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/life/2017/12/06/live-54218-connect-your-community-through-cold/925324001/

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