Getting outside in the summer is easy. The days are long, the weather is warm, and the opportunities for outdoor recreation can sometimes seem endless. Once winter hits, however, things get a little harder. Shorter days, cooler weather, and ample ice and snow can make getting outside seem impossible. But you should get out there and here’s why: being outside in the winter helps maintain your level of fitness and helps to stave off the blues that can accompany long nights and icy temperatures.
Which wintertime activities are available to you will largely depend on where you live but no matter what your climate is like, there is something out there that will keep you healthy and happy all year long!
Here are some activities that will make you love winter:
How To Get Started: Buy a good pair of snowshoes and some hiking poles, bundle up in your warm clothes, and head out the door! No lessons necessary!
Where to go: Many hiking trails become excellent snowshoe trails in the winter and a lot of ski areas also have snowshoe specific trails. If you’re just getting used to the feel of walking on snow, try wearing them around on a walk around the block after a big dump.
How To Get Started: Take a lesson. Most ski areas offer a wide variety of lessons to accommodate all skill levels. This is not something that you want to try to learn on your own because it’s easy to pick up bad habits. One good day of lessons and you’ll be hitting the beginner slopes with confidence!
Where To Go: While experienced skiers can head for the backcountry, most beginner to intermediate skiers will want to stick to the relative safety of a resort. And don’t think that because you don’t live in Colorado, there’s no place to ski! Even non-mountainous Midwestern places like Minnesota and Wisconsin boast their own ski hills!
How To Get Started: If you ran all summer, just don’t stop when the weather gets chilly. Layers are the name of the game here. Synthetic layers will keep you nice and warm even when the temperature drops. Keep in mind that it takes your muscles a little longer to warm up when it’s cold out so make sure you get in a nice long warm-up before doing any speed work. If you will regularly be running on icy roads, consider picking up a pair of Yak Tracks for extra traction.
Where To Go: Almost anywhere! Running in the city is always an easy choice as it’s easily accessible. But hitting the trails during the winter for a long run is a great getaway. A lot of the hiking/cross country ski trails are groomed and perfect for a nice run.
How To Get Started: The best way to lean to cross-country ski is to take a lesson. Look for cross-country ski lessons at any major ski resort or check with your local Nordic club.
Where To Go: While many people use cross-country skis to get out and explore the backcountry, beginners will probably want to stick to easy groomed trails. Many ski areas have groomed cross-country trails and a lot of municipalities will groom a track in at a local park after a big dump!
Play Like A Kid Again!
How To Get Started: Put some chili in the crock pot, bundle up, and head out the door. All you need to have a good time this winter is some warm clothes, a good pair of snow boots, and a little imagination.
Where To Go: Absolutely anywhere!