Let’s be honest: most of us don’t like being cold. Therefore, going outside on a cold winter day may be the last thing you want to do. But it’s important for your health (and your sanity) to get fresh air and exercise. Avoid the “it’s too cold” mindset by making yourself go outside. Help yourself to these ideas.
Make snow angels.
Build a snowman. Take it a step further by building an
entire snow family.Construct a snow fort.
and is easier than skiing. You don’t need well-groomed trails.
Your neighborhood or a nearby park will work.
Learn how to cross-country ski. Check online for rentals, and find
parks in your area with trails you can use.
Take the family skiing or snowboarding. Lessons are typically a
good idea for beginners.
Go ice skating. Find an indoor or outdoor rink near you.
spray bottle. Have the kids paint the yard.
S’mores aren’t just for summer. Build a fire in a suitable outdoor
space and roast marshmallows or sip hot chocolate.
Buy a snow block maker and build an igloo.
Head to the park and search for snow tracks or collect pinecones.
Hang birdfeeders in the trees. You can make your own with
pinecones, peanut butter and birdseed.
Have a winter photography contest.
Make an obstacle course in the backyard to challenge the kids
and the dog (and the adults).
It’s all in how you dress. And this doesn’t mean sneakers, jeans and a sweater under your coat. Dressing for cold, wet and windy weather means learning the art of layering: a base layer, insulating layer, and a weather protection layer.
Learn to love wintry weather
If you enjoy outdoor workouts but find yourself hibernating during the cold winter months, here’s something you might want to consider: By dressing properly, you might actually enjoy working out in the cold.
Dressing for cold, wet and windy weather means learning the art of layering, so you can add or remove clothing as the weather dictates. You’ll need three layers: base, insulating and weather protection.
Even with moderate activity, you will sweat. The secret to staying dry and comfortable is the base or “wicking,” layer. A base layer should fit snugly against the skin, but not too tight, to be effective. The right base layer will wick away moisture from the skin and pass it to the outer layer of fabric where it can evaporate so you don’t chill.
Another important quality of these materials is that they can keep you from getting too hot. Unless you’re terribly overdressed, you will stay dry and comfortable.
Look for these words or brand names on labels: breathable, polypropylene, Dri-FIT, ClimaLite, DryLete®, Vapor Dry, Technifine, Under Armour or Cool Max.
This layer should be loose enough to trap air between layers, but not so loose or heavy that it restricts movement. Try fleece sweatshirts, pullovers, sweaters or vests. Fleece works great because it dries quickly and insulates even when wet. Wool is also a good choice because it naturally wicks away moisture.
Weather protection layer
On non-windy days, you may be able to wear just a base layer, and if it’s chilly, add the insulating layer. But if the wind is howling, or if there’s snow or rain, you’ll need to finish with a weather-protection layer.
This layer is generally a shell and pants that can block the wind and repel water, but still allows perspiration to evaporate. To be effective, this layer should be waterproof and breathable. Synthetic fabrics such as microfiber are excellent. Some are treated with a type of waterproof-breathable laminate, such as Windstopper® or Gore-Tex®, which add to the windproof aspects of the garment.
Cotton may be soft and comfortable indoors, but avoid wearing it for outdoor exercise or activities. Cotton jeans, socks, T-shirts or sweatshirts—like a dish or bath towel, will all absorb and retain moisture. If you sweat in cotton and the wind blows, you’ll be very cold.
Use good sense and avoid sidewalks or streets that are packed with snow or ice. If you often walk, run or work outdoors in the winter, purchase a product such as Yaktrax®, which is designed to fit around the shoe and create a solid, secure grip on packed snow and ice.