Although it’s so tempting to hibernate all winter, humans aren’t bears and therefore we cannot tuck into a super-cozy cave and snooze the season away. I love being outside, and just because winter is my least favorite season, I’m not going to write off ever going outside just because I get cold. But I do need more than a nudge to get outside when it’s under 50 degrees. Okay, I need a big kick in the rear to get out the door in colder weather. Most often that kick comes from going absolutely stir crazy and bonkers when I’m stuck inside for too long — and having three kids who amplify that feeling because they’re in the same boat and very vocal about it. If you’re like me cursing the groundhog and counting the days until warmer weather, use this little nudge (or kick!) as a reminder that you really can and should get outside even when it’s cold. Even when it’s snowy. Even when conditions aren’t ideal. Because you can still have a ton of active fun!
How to Get Outside No Matter What
1. Enjoy the seasonal. Take advantage of the things you can’t do during the summer. It’s easy to think about all the things winter prevents you from doing, but it’s also full of opportunities. Sledding, skating, skiing, making snow angels and building snowmen are just a few ways to have fun outside — and they’re all active! Run around and catch snowflakes with your tongue, get in a snowball fight and if you’re not near a hill for sledding? Pull your kids down the street like I did. Snow is basically a great memory making opportunity.
2. Protect your toes. Get stocked up on appropriate cold-weather gear before that first snow of the season hits. Snow and your regular kicks just don’t mix, so get a pair of snow boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Check your inventory before a storm is forecast so you’re not stuck picking out the leftover boots. (This is also important for sleds — those things go like hotcakes in front of a storm!) Lay out all of your layers of warm clothes beforehand so you’re not wasting time scrambling to find gloves and scarves.
3. Extra extra! Always have an extra pair or two of gloves. Hands get cold and chapped in a hurry in cold weather and it’s so easy to misplace a glove or mitten. If you’ve got kids, it doesn’t hurt to have several extra pairs; my kids are always losing gloves. They get it from their mother. Bonus tip: Always carry lip balm and tissues in your pockets if you’ll be outside long.
4. Explore somewhere new! If you have a favorite place to hike in the summer, it could make for a breathtakingly stunning walk in the winter. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately and remember walking in the snow is a serious workout, so you’ll want to make sure you stay hydrated and fueled. Nature Valley’s Nut Crisp Bars are an easy snack to bring along on a hike. They come in Almond Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Peanut and, at 130-140 calories, are perfect for those moments you need just a little something to power you through. I don’t know how they pack so much nuttiness in such a thin bar, but I’m not complaining. Plus if you eat your healthy snacks, you’re less likely to come home to down a gallon of hot cocoa!
5. Make a chore a workout! Anyone who has ever shoveled a few inches of snow off of a long driveway or had to dig a path for a dog in the backyard knows it’s a serious strength and endurance event. Make the outdoors your new gym by shoveling (bonus points for helping out your neighbors!). Lunges in the snow are also an extra challenge.
Don’t spend your entire winter wishing it away; embrace the bracing winds and various forms of cold precipitation. By keeping your outdoor habits going during the winter, it’ll be easier to continue them all year long. And really, as long as you’re dressed for it, winter can have its fun moments, we promise!
How do you get out there in the winter? —Erin
Once again, thanks to Nature Valley for sponsoring this post!