As cold air and blowing snow arrives, it may be more appealing to curl up on the couch under a warm blanket with a hot cup of cocoa instead of venturing outdoors. Staying active in the winter is certainly not as easy as doing so in the spring and summer, and can seem like a chore especially if you don’t have interests in winter activities like skiing, snowboarding or skating. But winter has more to offer than these sports and you don’t have to hit the slopes or find an outdoor rink to enjoy outdoor activity – and maintained fitness – this season.
The first and most important tip to stay active this winter is to layer, layer, layer! It’s better to be too warm than too cold because you can always remove a layer once you get moving. Once you become familiar with how warm you get after warming up, you can be a bit skimpier with layers. Make sure your head is covered, and use materials that wick sweat away you’re your skin like polyester blends rather than cotton.
Second, if you’re going to be active outdoors for more than an hour, be sure to have fluids and a snack on hand such as trail mix to avoid dehydration and hunger. Counter to popular belief, alcohol will NOT warm you up (and will in fact dehydrate you sooner). Nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and whole grain cereals can be fantastic snacks when you’re on the move.
Lastly, be prepared for potentially uncomfortable situations. Check the weather before heading outdoors, take your phone with you in case you need help, and if heading into unknown territory, consider packing a small survival and first aid kit just in case.
If you’re not sure what activity to try this winter, our suggestion: try snowshoeing! Snowshoeing has few costs associated with it (you can often rent snowshoes for a minimal cost, and if you decide you like it, an investment in snowshoes can last year and years), is a great way to burn energy and has little risk to injury! It is more challenging then just going for a walk but is not as difficult to learn as skiing and snowboarding. You can snowshoe just about anywhere, on sidewalks, in a park or on a trail and you can increase the difficulty as you become more comfortable by increasing speed and by choosing trails with hills. Once you have a pair of winter boots and snowshoes, all you need is snow! Don’t forget to capture your outdoor moments with some great pictures and tag us at @jpwellness3. Most importantly, bring out your inner kid and have fun in the snow!