02/14/2013 12:11 EST | Updated 04/15/2013 05:12 EDT

I Lost Fifteen Pounds...By Tobogganing!

weather, winter, snow, young girl sledding down hill. perth, scotland.

On January 1 of this year, I made a resolution to get my family more active, and eat healthier foods together. The quintessential resolution, right? But would you believe that I lost 15 pounds in six weeks by sledding? Yes! As in with a toboggan! I'm proud to be Canadian, and it took a bit of creativity to stay fit outdoors in the winter, no matter what the weather. And as the mom of five little kids, I knew that these activities would have to include my youngsters, as I have no childcare arrangement in place.

I began getting active with my kids by taking one-hour daily walks, regardless of the weather that January blew my way. I got my kids bundled up in snowsuits, and this worked well until our first major snowfall in the Greater Toronto Area. Then, with sidewalks obstructed by snow, I decided to take my exercise to the toboggan hill!

Did you know that you burn 476 calories per hour by sledding? It sounds unbelievable, doesn't it, as it's a recumbent sport enjoyed on your derrière! And I wouldn't have believed it either, until my clothing began to fall off me due to a 15-pound weight loss! The sled ride downhill is simple, a piece of cake, but the walk up a snowy hill on an incline is a workout for leg and butt muscles. Even the repetitive motion of standing up and sitting down on the sled works abs, quads, hamstrings and butt combined! I did this sledding exercise routine five days per week, an hour each day, and started seeing results in just two weeks.

The kinds of results I began to see were slimmer legs, a disappearing backside, a leaner-looking face and an overall slimmer look. In addition, I noticed an increase in my flexibility -- and a decrease in my hip and waist size. Now, at the six-week mark, friends and family alike have noticed a change in my physique. It's a great feeling knowing that this change has been due to my increased activity level and improved nutrition.

With respect to my kids, they've enjoyed our time tobogganing together! For them, it has been a thrill-packed morning of outdoor play, laughter and fun! For me, it has been a great time to bond with my kids, enjoy the snow -- and regale in exercise disguised as play.

To parents of young kids, I know it's not easy to find time to be active. As a parent, it's easy to put oneself last and quickly lose sight of personal health and fitness goals. Although being sedentary can become a habit, it doesn't have to be. And finding a way to being active with your children doesn't have to be difficult.

For those who want to try my "Sledding Workout" I should note I also cut out junk food from my diet, and ate nutritiously and moderately throughout this timeframe. Although my diet definitely went hand-in-hand with my exercise regime, it's definitely the sledding that has toned and shaped my body. On days where there was insufficient snow to toboggan, I substituted my routine with a one-hour walk instead. Although I sometimes used a five-seat wood toboggan for my workout, I eventually streamlined to red Crazy Carpet plastic sleds.

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