As we enter the fall-winter seasons, the temperatures will soon start dropping, and the temptation to hole up under warm covers to keep your body heat will be huge — but don’t give in! Although many people believe it’s best to stay indoors when temperatures cool down as a thin layer of snow blankets your driveway, it’s better for your mind and body to go out and get some winter sun. Here are six reasons why you need to get outside in the winter!
1. Free and Natural Vitamin D
Vitamin D is crucial in regulating your body’s calcium and phosphate content, which helps maintain bone health, prevent cancer, immune function, and many more. Almost half of adults in the country are vitamin D deficient despite it being so readily available.
One of the best ways to get your daily dose of vitamin D is through safe sun exposure. While it’s easy to get your required sunlight during summer and springtime, it gets trickier once the cold sets in and the days grow shorter. You might need to stay under the sun longer to meet your daily vitamin D needs but, as long as you take a 10 to 30-minute walk outside every day with enough water to keep you hydrated, you should be good to go!
2. Creative Stimulation
Going out during winter also is great for your creativity. Many studies show that taking a stroll outdoors stimulates the brain and can help you think up new and creative ideas.
Even in freezing temperatures, outdoor activities, simple exercises, or walk in the snow improves brain function and helps you connect with nature. The natural environment also encourages a free flow of thought and introduces new sights and sensations to entertain your brain.
If you’re in the middle of a funk, try going out in the snow! Remember to keep your ears covered and have enough water on you to stay hydrated during frigid temperatures.
3. Break From Busy Workdays
Always wanted to go camping but never had the time? Why not try winter camping? Taking in some fresh winter air is one of the most relaxing ways to take a break during a busy day. During the peak holiday season, people tend to stay indoors, leaving parks and public spaces with significantly smaller crowds. It gives you the perfect setting to relax and rest your mind.
It’s a relaxing experience that gives you time to breathe and unwind. With the help of some mindfulness exercises and introspection, this can also help you see your concerns in a different light. In short — it’s peaceful, and don’t we all need some of that?
4. Better Workout Sessions
When you’re in the middle of winter, it’s natural to lean towards indoor exercise where it’s warm and cozy. You’d be shocked to learn that it’s very good for your body to exercise in the winter outdoors!
During winter workouts, your brown fat starts to burn its calories to produce heat and regulate your body temperature by raising your metabolic rate. It means that cold-weather exercise can help you burn lots of calories with minimal effort.
Depending on the exercise intensity, working out during the winter months can help you generate your heat and increase your core body temperature. Although this can interfere with burning your brown fat, exercising in winter helps you stay comfortable while increasing your endurance and efficiency.
Just remember to drink plenty of water, takes water with you if you’re out in the snow for longer periods, and cover your ears and keep your hands warm to prevent frostbite.
5. Smarter Brain
Surprisingly, one way winter can benefit you is by making you smarter than during any other season. It is because of energy and glucose.
To power all of your bodily functions, your body mainly relies on glucose to produce energy.
Your body uses more energy to cool you down during a scorching summer afternoon than warm you up on a cold winter day. Since you’re using less glucose to regulate your body temperature, this energy can be diverted to your brain. With more energy, it’s easier to think smart!
6. Beat the Winter Blues
One winter side effect no one enjoys is the blues. Less sunlight and freezing temperatures can be a huge downer that could develop into Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in extreme cases. Fortunately, fun outdoor winter activities are a fantastic way to boost your mood!
You can go cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, or have some backyard cheer with a surprise snowball fight. In case you’re looking for something calmer, a simple stroll, relaxed sightseeing, or soaking in a winter hot tub would work too. No matter how short, any amount of sun exposure can greatly improve your serotonin levels.
Winter outings relieve you of stress, tension, and loneliness while revitalizing you and opening up the doors to more positive experiences. Just remember to keep warm and drink warm water while you say goodbye to your winter blues!
Going outside in the winter has undeniable benefits for your heart, mind, body, and soul! If you feel the winter getting to you and you’re having trouble focusing or your mood is going down, the easiest fix would be to walk outside and take in your beautiful winter landscape.
Staying outdoors during the colder months is one of the most effortless ways to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. What are you waiting for? Bundle up now and take a walk in the fresh fall-winter air!