This time of year is primed for turkey, pumpkin pie and cookies. We often spend as much time baking cookies as we do shoveling snow. So how do you work in a workout? Good news! Some common winter activities can double as workouts. So gather the family and be prepared to work up a good sweat:

Shoveling snow. This necessary evil in winter can help you burn more than 250 calories an hour. Just make sure you’re lifting with your knees, not your back, and using an ergonomic shovel to minimize stress on your back.

Sledding. Remember how tired you got as a kid running up the hill with your sled in hand? Try it as an adult. You’re guaranteed to have fun heading down the hill at top speeds, and if you last for 30 minutes you’ll burn about 200 calories.

Ice skating. You don’t have to be as skilled as Nancy Kerrigan or as agile as Brian Boitano. Just 30 minutes of light skating will burn upwards of 200 calories.

Playing in the snow. Building a snowman, snow angels and snowball fights have always been winter classics, but did you know they also help you burn calories? If you play in the snow for at least an hour you can burn between 200-350 calories.

Skiing and snowboarding. If you’re looking for a more intense workout, while still being outside in the snow, skiing and snowboarding is your best bet. Depending on your fitness level, and your skills, you can burn upwards of 300 calories per hour.

Make sure to bundle up, stay hydrated and have fun.

This article was originally published on December 20, 2014, and was updated on December 12, 2016.

We’ve all been there as patients; sick on the weekend, trip and twist an ankle. What do you do if your primary care doctor is gone for the day or weekend?

Non-life-threatening emergencies can be treated at an urgent care. If you’re having a life-threatening emergency such as chest pain or a serious head injury, a trip to the emergency room is in order.


Together with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s Executive Chef, Ryan Kendall, we’re bringing you a delicious and healthy side dish that would be perfect for Thanksgiving, or any time of the year: Herb Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans.

Butternut squash are rich in antioxidants, low in fat, high in dietary fiber, with significant amounts of potassium and vitamin B6. With a one-cup serving, you get nearly half the daily recommended dose of vitamin C!

To choose a butternut squash, look for one that’s unblemished and seems heavy with a matte skin. Uncut butternut squash can be stored in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) for up to three months.

When you’re ready to cook the Herb Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients and materials:

large knife
wide vegetable peeler
cookie sheet
mixing bowl
sheet pan
3 large butternut squash
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp paprika
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp fresh sage
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh rosemary
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Start by cutting off the top and bottom ends to make them both flat. Then cut the squash lengthwise into halves. The seeds will be in the bottom, use a spoon to scrape them out and discard.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel each half. Usually a downward motion, away from you, is the easiest. Slice the halves into ½” to 1” chunks, as uniformed in size as possible.

On a separate tray, spread out the pecans and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, toss squash with olive oil and add herbs and seasonings. Coat pieces will.

Place squash on sprayed or oiled sheet pan in the oven and roast for 25-45 minutes (depending on the size of your squash pieces) until tender.

Remove from sheet pan and place in serving dish. Toss lightly with pecans and drizzle with agave nectar. Serve warm.

This article was originally published on November 21, 2014, and was updated on October 27, 2016.