It can be challenging to keep active during the winter, especially if your chosen activity or exercise requires you to spend time outdoors. Not only is it more difficult to remain motivated when the days are darker and shorter, but the cold weather makes it inhospitable for certain excursions to even take place. While some feel able and willing to hibernate, the outdoorsy folk are certain to struggle.
Connecting with nature is important for a number of reasons and while many seek to keep fit with an outdoor activity, nature also helps to support wellbeing and mental health. This can make a winter without luscious landscapes or serene natural environments especially troublesome. To help, we’re sharing five ways that individuals can stay better connected to nature during the winter period.
Change Your Commute
If you travel for work, it can be a great idea to change up your commute. Instead of traveling as efficiently as possible, take time to slow things down and spend a greater amount of time outdoors. By wrapping up and adding a stroll or a cycle to your day, you can enjoy longer periods in the sun and keep yourself more active. Many will find this easier than getting themselves up and outdoors specifically for an activity since their commute is already a predetermined part of their schedule.
Take A Dip
Cold water swimming might sound wholly unpleasant to some but those who try it are often converted to the wonders and health benefits it brings. In fact, some swimming groups actively pursue cold water environments and become more active during the winter period. This is partly because cold water dips have been shown to improve immune systems, reduce stress, and even increase libido.
Find A Hobby
There are a number of outdoor activities that can not only be enjoyed during the winter period but that can become a hobby for all seasons. By picking up such a hobby, individuals give themselves the motivation to get outdoors and spend time among nature. This could be hiking peaceful trails, foraging for seasonal wild ingredients, or even picking up a paddleboard for adventures on the water.
These activities can often also be social too and by finding a local group or friends to accompany your endeavour, you will be even more motivated to keep it up.
Pick Up A Book
If you’re stuck indoors on a day struck with poor weather, it can become the perfect opportunity to embrace nature through reading instead. There are a number of fantastic nature writers who share their vivid descriptions of nature, whether as fictional landscapes or as detailed true-to-life accounts. So, instead of trying to force yourself outdoors when it’s cold and wet, try picking up a nature book instead, whisking yourself to an entirely different landscape as you sit comfortably by the fire.
While the winter period might not be hospitable for all plants, there are a number of seedlings that can thrive during the winter period, promising they have a little help from grow kits and greenhouses. Gardeners, especially those who grow much of their own food, will know just how important the winter period is for planting, and readying a garden for the spring and summer.