Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom teamed up with UnitedHealthcare to show our Western PA Pride.  Although I received compensation in some form, all opinions remain my own.

Dear Diary,

Since becoming a mom, my definition of exercise expanded. Years ago, a workout was water aerobics, 5 a.m. boot camp or spin class. Now, exercise is skipping the elevator and walking down three flights of stairs. Yes, we take the elevator to the third floor.  Don’t judge me! But recently, I joined a gym–one with childcare, so I couldn’t use my daughter as an excuse for not breaking a sweat and shedding the post baby pounds.  Breastfeeding, a.k.a. my Slim Fast, ended long ago, and so did the dress size shrinkage.  That’s why I am aiming at being active. UnitedHealthcare is helping me to try this out before the New Year. I figure I might as well get a jump start on a workout routine, because who ever can keep a resolution?

UnitedHealthcare’s campaign, Western PA Pride, asks Western Pennsylvania residents to take a photo of themselves being active and/or healthy around the city they live in, and to upload the photo to WestPaPride.com for a chance to win a 12-Day Holiday Challenge. The promotion will run from now through Christmas Eve and with each photo submitted, users are entered for a chance to win a $25 gift card! There will be one $25 gift card winner every day for twelve days. Who doesn’t need to lose weight and gain money during the holiday season?
So, won’t you join me in a winter workout? Here’s how we can be active and healthy.

1. Join a Gym & Go

I signed up and paid my fees at a gym ten minutes from my house, Now, it’s time to actually take advantage of my membership. Not going is the equivalent of throwing $40 in the trash each month. At the gym, I can make new friends, check out hot guys and yeah, I almost forgot, get my pre-pregnancy body back.

2. Shake Your Grove Thang

Dance off those winter weather blues in your living room! My daughter and I pump up the jams and shake our grove thangs. Recently, Caitlynn learned the Chicken Dance at school, and the son has been in heavy rotation in our house.

3. Build a Snowman

If you’re the parent of a child 12 and under, thanks to Frozen, you’ve probably been asked if you wanted to build a snowman on more than one occasion. Building a snowman, throwing snowballs and sledding at a park create memories for your family and burn calories at the same time.

3. Take a Walking Tour

Instead of hopping in your car, why not check out your neighbor’s Christmas lights by foot? You can even belt out a couple of Christmas carols along the way. Downtown Pittsburgh shines bright this time of year. In addition to the lights and window displays, holiday markets set the scene. And you might even spot Santa Claus while you are out and about. This weekend, we picked my daughter up from an out-of-town visit at her father’s house.  The winter weather didn’t keep us from going to the beach!

Walking on the Beach

5. Strap on Skates

Outdoor ice skating rinks are the perfect place to enjoy the winter weather. You’ll have so much fun, you won’t notice that you’re cold! And according to fitness experts, a 150-pound person can burn 240 calories in 30 minutes! MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place and the Schenley Park Skating Rink are local landmarks. A visit to both places should be on everyone’s holiday bucket list.

Hey DFTM Fam–How is your family staying fit throughout the winter?

Want to learn more about UnitedHealthcare and its quality, affordable health insurance options? Visit UHC.com.


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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