If winter isn’t your favorite season, then you probably need lots of coaxing to even consider venturing outdoors. After all, what possible benefit could there be to leaving the soft, luxurious warmth of your heated electric throw or the soothing coziness of your heated mattress pad only to endure the freezing temperatures, biting wind, and gloomy skies that are all too common in February?
Well, as it turns out, there are actually numerous benefits associated with making an effort to spend more time outside this winter. Here are five of the most important ones:
- Getting out of your home or office can alleviate feelings of cabin fever and help reduce stress.
- Taking a short walk and breathing in some fresh air has been shown to clear the mind, improve focus, and increase both creativity and cognitive ability.
- Exercising outdoors in winter is more challenging than exercising indoors, which can result in better workouts, a higher calorie burn, and greater energy levels throughout the day. Just be sure to dress appropriately for your activity and wear battery heated gloves or other heated apparel to retain body heat.
- Going outdoors on sunny days not only stimulates vitamin D production, which is essential for strong bones, but also helps combat the “winter blues” (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder).
- Spending quality outdoor time with your kids will create memories that last a lifetime. They won’t remember that PS4 game they received for Christmas and played for two weeks, but they will always remember the snowmen you build, the snowball fights you have, and the wild rides that you take together down the local sledding hill.
Sitting in front of a crackling fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate while the winds swirl and the snow falls is a perfectly acceptable and altogether appealing winter pastime—as long as you don’t let it become your only winter activity. Be sure to go outside for a short time every day (or at least several times a week) so you can enjoy all the invigorating benefits listed here.