Baby It’s Cold Outside…Now Get Out There!


A Quick Guide to Staying Warm While Enjoying All Nature Has to Offer This Winter.
The human body is designed to move, and incorporating daily movement is essential to physical and emotional well-being. And while exercising is great no matter where it’s done, taking some time for outdoor physical activity may have added health benefits.
Being in the natural world with views of trees, shrubs, and plants can decrease stress. Sunshine provides vitamin D which may boost your immune system, promote bone growth, and even fight depression. Surprisingly, you may get a better workout, as you navigate various terrain including steep hills and uneven ground while walking, running, or biking. Exploring the outdoors has endless opportunities to fight boredom. You may start out in your neighborhood, and then venture farther. There are many parks, trails, and bike paths throughout the state that you can access. Best of all, it’s FREE!

Now, we all know how difficult it can be to get outside in the winter. Re-frame your mindset and commit to a simple routine. Don’t have an hour to spare? How about 15 minutes? Even this amount of time can make a difference. With the frigid temperatures, set yourself up for success with the right gear.

1. Dress in layers on very cold days, 3 layers is best:
- Base layer: will need to keep your skin dry, and it should be snug fitting.
-Middle layer: try a fleece or puffer vest to hold in your body heat.
-Outer layer: your coat, preferably one with a hood to block the wind.

2. Protect your extremities:
- Wear a hat and make sure it covers your ears.
-Mittens will be a better option than gloves to protect your hands as mittens allow the fingers to share the warmth. Fingers still cold? Consider a battery-operated hand warmer in the mittens, which can be re-charged after use.

3. Boots:
-Waterproof winter boots are a step up (no pun intended) and a great option for offering traction on snow or ice. Boots classified as “winter boots” generally include insulation. Waterproof boots alone may not be insulated and therefore will feel very cold. Check out the blog titled, “What to Wear on Your Feet in the Winter?” for more guidance.

Additional Tips:
1. Avoid cotton in your layering, as it will soak up water and take forever to dry out, leaving you cold. Consider merino wool or silk for your base layer. Nylon is another option.
2. Avoid tight middle and outer layers, they should glide on and off to avoid constricting circulation.
3. Want to splurge? A battery-operated vest is a great middle layer. There are many options on the market, and some are even on sale this time of year.
4. Fleece pants will keep your legs quite warm.
5. Timing is everything: warmer temperatures will generally occur early afternoon, something to consider if you do not have any schedule constraints.

If getting started seems hard, consider that you likely already own some of the items I’ve listed. Slowly build on your existing wardrobe. Stay organized, lay out your clothing the night before to save time in the morning if you plan to go out early. Keep your exercise/activity goals achievable. Best of all, once you form a routine this time of year, it will be very easy to carry through and remain consistent with once the days get longer and warmer. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!