Staying Active Outdoors in Colder Temperatures

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Staying Active Outdoors in Colder Temperatures

The season of holidays, time with family, and delicious meals, winter offers many wonderful things to look forward to each year. For some people, however, the change in seasons can also bring a case of the blues. While some people are affected strongly enough to be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, there are many other people who simply don’t have their normal levels of motivation to be active outdoors.

Just as it is any other time of the year, exercise in winter is vital to your health. Don’t let yourself fall into a pattern of staying inside all season, or you will likely find your energy levels are consistently low. Making an effort to ditch the blankets and get outdoors can be difficult, though, so what are some of the ways you can stay active, even when the temperatures are low?


Even familiar trails can have a different appearance between seasons. A hike that you’ve done in the summer was most likely through a landscape of greenery, with trees thick with foliage and colorful wildflowers. Winter hikes can offer stunning views, as you can see further through the bare trees. Snow is also a plus, as it adds a picturesque quality to your stroll and makes for great photo opportunities.


If you live in an area with lots of snow, offer to shovel a neighbor’s driveway. Shoveling uses upper body muscles so you’ll get a good workout at the same time as doing a good deed for someone. Winter is also the season of food drives and shelter work, so don’t forget to check with your local non-profits about volunteer opportunities.

Snowball Fight

There’s a good chance you haven’t had a snowball fight since you were a kid. A snowball fight as an adult is just as much fun and just as good exercise. Invite a few friends over and have a calorie-burning, socially distanced snowball fight with them.

Be a Snowbird

If you truly don’t like being cold, why not take a three-day weekend to a lower latitude? Even going just a few hours south can reveal higher temperatures. Take an afternoon to explore a map of nearby states, and find a campground where you can spend a few nights under the stars. Winter skies offer perfect stargazing opportunities, so grab your binoculars or telescope and enjoy the beauty of the heavens.

Get Ready for Spring

Plants that start as bulbs, such as daffodils and hyacinths, need to be planted in cold temperatures so they can be ready to bloom by early spring. Grab a warm jacket, hat, and garden gloves, and start planning your spring garden. While most plants need to be planted in warm spring soils, you can get a head start on building a raised garden bed or pulling out remnants of old plants.

Keep in mind, too, that no matter how long winter can seem, spring is just around the corner. Staying active and immersing yourself in the outdoors can help you enjoy the colder months more and be in a positive frame of mind for spring.

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