While we may revel in the idea of winter hibernation, there a plenty of reasons why we should make an even greater effort to get outside and stay in great shape during the colder months. Not only must we balance out the extra caloric intake our festive eating affords us, but we also do well to combat the shorter and much grayer days. If left unconsidered, our sleeping habits and happiness may deteriorate as our bodies struggle to adapt their circadian rhythms.
Thankfully, however, getting outside and keeping active doesn’t need to feel like a chore. In fact, there are a number of great activities, hobbies, and sports that can keep us in shape and in great mental form while feeling entirely like fun.
Whether to take you out of the city or to help you see your rural area in a different way, hiking during winter can be incredibly rewarding. The colder weather and rougher terrain will make even a casual trail a challenge on your body, giving it a great workout. You will also find the colder environment to be more pristine and quiet too, especially being absent of summer footfall, giving you an amazing respite and experience of solitude.
Talk to any ski enthusiast and you’ll quickly learn about the benefits that taking to the slopes can have. Developing a number of muscles and requiring a keen balance, the thrill of flying down snowy steeps is actually a great workout too.
If you haven’t skied before, then there is a slight learning curve but it is easy to overcome either by seeking a tutor or joining a group. Many treat skiing as a social activity and it can be a great way to make new friends during winter too!
Taking your bike out during winter, even to run errands, is a fantastic way to keep your body active, preventing a reliance on cars. The fresh air and physicality of riding a bike during winter are invigorating to the body and have numerous benefits. Just be sure to also stay safe when cycling in colder weather, especially on potentially slippery terrain. And a pair of warm gloves, you will quickly learn, are certainly essential.
While it may seem frightening to plunge into frigid, wild water on a cold day, there’s a reason that open-water swimming has become so popular in recent years. Even putting to one side the number of health benefits that even brief winter swims can have on the body, the thrill and excitement of taking to oceans and lakes during the cold months is unrivaled.
Ice skating is a winter activity that has many of the same cardiovascular benefits that skiing has, requiring balance and coordination. However, it is also an affordable and welcoming activity that the entire family can enjoy, making it an ideal winter excursion for those looking to keep their little ones entertained too.