Staying Active in the Winter Months: Develop Your Skills and Explore New Destinations at Home and Abroad4 min read
Winter is hard for those of us who love spending time outdoors—and who live in areas with cold winters. But staying active all year round is important for your physical, mental and emotional health. So how do you continue to stay active even when it’s cold and snowy, or there’s a pandemic hampering your travel plans? Here are a few ideas and tips.
Plan A Winter Getaway
It might not always be realistic to participate in winter activities where you live, especially if you’re in a metropolitan area. Snow in the city is beautiful for about one day before it turns the streets into grey sludge rivers and the sidewalks into treacherous icy pathways. But there are plenty of places where snow makes for a fun adventure.
Research ski resorts or mountain towns close to your area. Or, if you’re up for a longer getaway, check out our list of best international destinations for winter sports. Don’t worry if you’re not a skier! Ski resorts and towns have plenty of other activities available. Try something you’ve never done before like tubing or snowshoeing.
Learn a New Skill
Whether there’s a ski resort in your backyard or you have to jump on a plane to get to the nearest mountain, there are so many options of winter activities to choose from. Pick an activity that interests you and commit to learning it over the course of the winter months and set a goal relevant to your interests.
Do you want to improve your ice skating skills? Set a goal of learning a basic jump over the next few weeks. Or, if you’re more of a beginner, set a goal of learning to skate forward and backward without any assistance. Setting goals makes it easier for us to stay motivated and committed to learning new skills. Staying active can be fun if you have something to work towards.
Consider some winter activities to learn or improve upon:
- Ice skating
- Ice fishing
- Ice sculpture
Upgrade Your Winter Safety Gear
Whether you’re headed down the slopes or you simply want to stick to a running routine at home, it’s important that you stay safe when participating in winter activities and sports. Safety ensures that you’re able to continue participating in activities that you love and staying active during the winter months.
If you’re skiing or snowboarding, you might consider getting a helmet. And if you already wear one, be sure that it fits well and hasn’t been involved in any collisions.
While you might not wear a helmet when you’re ice skating, you should make sure that your skates are sharpened and fit your feet well. Dull blades on ice skates can lead to more slipping. And, especially for rental skates, it’s common for people to tie their skates incorrectly. They should fit tight to your feet and ankles, otherwise, you’ll risk an ankle injury.
If you’re running during the winter months, consider getting spikes to wear on your shoes in case of icy conditions. Also consider what gear you will need to keep yourself warm and dry, no matter what activity you’re participating in.
Escape to a Warmer Climate
If winter weather really isn’t your thing, try planning a trip to a warmer climate. Take a beach vacation filled with activities like swimming and snorkeling. Or visit a destination with great hiking trails for a different type of warm-weather escape.
Do you have a flexible work schedule? You may consider staying in a warm climate for an extended period of time—maybe even the whole winter season. Be sure to research long-term rentals in the area you’re traveling to, and think about what’s required to be able to complete your work on a day-to-day basis. The advantage of living in a warm climate during the winter months is that you can adventure on the weekends by going on hikes, visiting local beaches or trying out other local activities.