It's that time of year when the leaves have fallen, and the weather gets downright cold. Nippy. And if you are in northern latitudes, you may dread this time of year . . . snow on the ground most days, ice and plain chills.
Yet, keeping an active lifestyle is all about attitude.
The attitude you have about being outdoors and staying active, can greatly effect your health and wellbeing. If you are a “glass half-full” person, you can easily see the joys of walking and hiking in all seasons. If you are a “glass half-empty” person, you will have to work at seeing the positives in this time of year.
Let me help you along. During these months when many things seem indoors, we can get the feeling of being locked inside. Even now, as I write this, will go down in history as 2020, the year of the pandemic, where quarantines, lockdowns, and our favorite places shuttered or are simply on the internet. Boring, sad, and quite depressing. Yet, this is the best time to see the advantages and fun of being outside. I hope you will look back and see that year as a time that moved us into healthier exercise habits. At least for some of us.
Here are some reasons why I like going outside in the winter:
1. Warms up my body - What? That’s right. When I go outside for exercise during the winter, if it is brisk enough, my body actually warms up (or at least feels warmer). (2). A good fast paced walk or hike, for longer than 10 minutes seems to increase my metabolism to the point of warmth. Much like how a car engine gets warm after running for a while. This inner-body warmth stays with me for a while, even when I’m finished.
There you have it. Five reasons why I enjoy walking in the winter. Maybe this all sounds too fanciful for you. But I know that if you try it, consistently, dressing ready for the weather, yet pushing yourself to be regular with it, you will like it, and it will totally change your outlook on winter in the future.
Every time you are tempted to just sit around all day during winter, or watch another TV show in your binge watching, or looking at what other people are doing on their social media walls, consider it an opportunity to break the habit. Push yourself to find ways to enjoy going outside, even for a 10-minute walk around the block, or a drive to your favorite local walking spot.
Also, Set a new tradition to go on a longer walk or hike once or twice a week, at the same time and same day each week. Year round, winter especially. If you are dressed right, you’ll stay warm, and enjoy the beauty, peace and energizing feeling winter walking provides.
Mike Cutler is an avid hiker and fitness blogger for older adults and active seniors He lives with his family in Reno, Nevada near the Sierra mountains.
ResourcesCan Walking Raise Body Temperature? (epainassist.com)