Brrrr. It’s cold and windy and miserable outside. Time to find a comfy couch, a cuddly blanket, a cup of warmth, and a remote control or book and stay inside all season. I get it. Who wants to subject themselves to the cold this winter? It takes planning, effort, and a lot of willpower. Let me persuade you that all that getting outside this winter (even for 15 minutes a day) will greatly improve your winter blues.
Here are five reasons that if you put your mind to escaping the house this winter, you will come out better for it.
Embrace The Cold
By simply exposing your body to UVB aids your body in production of vitamin D. Like other nutrients, vitamin D cannot be found in large doses in food. The “sunshine” helps aid in bone health and gastrointestinal health. With all richer foods in the winter, who doesn’t need a little more gastrointestinal health? Here’s a link to a great article about the benefits of vitamin D for everyone.
Shake Sickness Off
Counter to popular belief, a cold does NOT come from being in the cold. We catch colds from other people. Being outside can create more room for us to be with friends and family or breaks from the congestion of inside. As above, vitamin D also helps fight infections and reduce inflammation–both causes of illness.
Get A Case Of The Winter Joys
With winter blues and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) a common occurrence as the days get shorter, getting outside can actually help to fight off those dips in mood. For just a few minutes a day of winter weather can improve your mood and reduce stress through simple exercises like walking or having a snowball fight. Just a brisk 15 minute walk can reduce stress and improve creativity by 81%.
Remember the camaraderie of a neighborhood when you are struggling to get the sidewalks and road cleared of snow? Many times that’s the only time we see or speak to our neighbors. Other than those few times, we are stuck inside with each other for long nights and short days. This leads to cabin fever and lots of petty fighting due to the stress of togetherness. Getting outside can help you gain a larger perspective of your circle and fun with one another. Who doesn’t love a good laugh after the stress of daily life tolls on you? Be the crazy neighbor who walks everyday…you’ll be sure to meet new neighbors who want to know you or join you.
Just For Novelty’s Sake
A little break from your routine is good for you. Trying new things can break you out of well-worn paths and old ideas. You won’t know if you really hate cold before you try it. Here’s a previous article I wrote exalting the idea of trying new things. Breaking down boundaries and exposing yourself to new things can reboot your brain and bring some zest into your daily walk.
How To Dress For Winter
Let’s be honest. Winter can be very intimidating because how do you dress for the weather? It’s all about layers and not fashion. Please throw all your fashion sense out the window. Models are modeling and selling merchandise, winter wear is for staying warm.
It’s All About The Layers
To dress for winter, you must embrace layers. Three layers in particular are important: base, middle, and outer. Base layers are those garments closest to your skin. Think long underwear. Silk, wool, or synthetic fabrics are best because you need to keep your skin dry. Cotton absorbs water and holds it next to your skin.
Middle layers consist of the clothes you would probably wearing when you are active such as pants, sweaters, or shirts. The mid-layer’s job is to take the moisture from the base layer and send it into the environment. To stay warm, you need to stay dry. Wool is always good as well as synthetics and merino wool. Cotton again is a no-no. The middle layer shouldn’t fit too tight or too loose.
Your outer layer protects you from the outside and is the insulating layer. Think puffy jackets. The break in space from a puffy jacket keeps a thickness between you and the cold and is lightweight. If it’s windy, you may need a wind-breaking fabric on top.
Accessories Are Fun
Don’t forget to cover your ears and hands and face. Extremities chill faster and are more susceptible to frostbite. Contrary to popular belief, your heat doesn’t primarily come out your head. Whatever skin area is exposed is where the heat escapes from. Be mindful of materials. Keep your feet dry by wool or synthetic socks (not cotton) and good sturdy boots.
All these layers can be found at your local thrift stores especially if it’s for children. You don’t have to spend a fortune or be a fashion influencer. Just get dressed in your mismatching gear and love the the winter. That’s what black and white photos are for.
The comedian Tim Allen said, “Winter forms our character and brings out the best in us.” I’d fully agree. My first time in proper winter gear changed by perspective completely. With a little knowledge and grit, winter’s bad reputation can be redeemed. The snow adds a layer of beauty and quiet to our usual busy world. Often the best things are found by working a little harder and sharing memories with others, especially if you know a warm cup of hot cocoa is waiting for you at the other end.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.