This Winter, Go Outside

News & Tips: This Winter, Go Outside

SnowshoeingWith winter just on the horizon, it can be tempting to stay indoors on the couch, cocoon yourself in some blankets and catch up on old hunting show re-runs.

Getting plenty of time in the outdoors, however, is crucial to your health and peace of mind.

Spending time outside, according to Harvard Health, provides people with the following benefits:

  • Increased Vitamin D levels, which helps your body to fight osteoporosis, cancer, depression and heart attacks
  • Elevated mood
  • Improved concentration
  • Expedited healing times

While the benefits of spending time outside are clear, it’s easier said than done to actually venture out into the cold. The following activities, however, are fun enough to get even the most cold-averse person outside:

Winter Hiking. Bundle up, add a traction device to your winter hiking boots, and venture into the outdoors! Take this opportunity to experience the beauty of your favorite spring, summer and fall hiking routes, but in all their snow-covered glory.

Snowshoeing. Once you’ve strapped some snowshoes onto your winter hiking boots or snow boots and ventured into the cold, be prepared to fall in love with this winter sport! Snowshoeing is not only one of the best ways to take in winter-white vistas, but it’s also an excellent way to shake off cabin fever and work your (possibly neglected) muscles. If you’re a first-timer, here is a Guide to Snowshoeing from Snowshoe Magazine, as well as a video from L.L.Bean:

Cross-country Skiing. Like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing is great exercise. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. It is a total workout, a great calorie burner and an anti-depressant. It is considered a low-impact workout (great for joints) and an excellent aerobic exercise (for heart and lungs). The added bonus of this activity? The endorphin rush of skiing down groomed ski trails or in an undiscovered corner of the woods!

Other Outside Snow Activities.

  1. Take a night time stroll in your neighborhood while it’s snowing. Bonus: Do this during the holidays to see all those decorations.
  2. Go snow tubing or sledding. Get a sled or make a sled out of cardboard. Or, try snow tubing with a simple inner tube.
  3. Take a winter hike in the snow with your family and look for animal prints like squirrel, rabbit or deer.
  4. If you have lots of snow, build a snow maze with your kids.
  5. Have romantic spicy chili dinner in a snow cave or by a campfire and don’t forget the s’mores for dessert!

Ice Fishing. One of your best options for getting outdoors and experiencing “the thrill of the hunt” this winter. This is a great time to enjoy winter weather while fishing! Ice fishing tends to be more social than traditional fishing. Ice fishermen gather to share ice fishing tents. There are ice fishing tournaments that make for a great day of outdoor winter fun.

Ice fishing can be done on a sunny day or on a cold overcast day with the use of portable ice fishing shelters or tents. To help curb the cold inside the shelter, ice fishing heaters can be used.

Playing! Who says you need to have a specific activity in mind to enjoy the wintry outdoors? Whether it’s with your kids, your friends or your pet, get outside and play!

Enjoy the outdoors!