Get Outside This Winter
We get it — cold weather makes some people want to stay cooped up inside like a hibernating bear, bingeing Netflix and cookie dough until the leaves come back. But just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t stay active, get some fresh air, and have a minor adventure or two. Here are a few ideas from your pals at Grassroots to keep yourself from going insane between now and springtime.
Ski Or Snowboard
These are the big ones — over 10 million people ski or snowboard in the US every year. Hitting the slopes is a great way to spend your sunny winter days exercising, feeling the wind on your face, and hanging out with your friends.
Unfortunately, skiing and snowboarding can be expensive — between travel, equipment, and tickets, costs can really add up. Not to mention that it’s pretty much a full-day activity. What if you only have an hour or two free? Don’t worry, we’ve got other ideas.
Hit Up An Ice Rink
Skating can also be great exercise, and there are rinks everywhere, from small downtown rinks surrounded by shops and cafes to bigger frozen lakes in the mountains. Whether you’re in a small town or a big city, you should be able to find somewhere to skate.
If you can’t find an outdoor rink, lots of rec centers have indoor ice rinks — some of them even offer lessons if it’s your first time on the ice or rec leagues like hockey and broomball if you’re a little more experienced.
Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jinglin’
Warm blankets, crisp winter air, a thermos of cocoa, and someone to snuggle with. Sounds pretty great, right? Look into sleigh rides in your area for a magical time to spend with friends or your significant other. If you can, go at night — the stars can be very impressive in the thin, cold air of winter.
Lost of sleigh rides even come with dinner packages — you’ll take the sleigh to a restaurant and have food and conversation in front of a roaring fire. It’s not just a night out, it’s a night to remember.
Short on cash? Sledding and tubing are basically free. You just need a sled or inflated inner tube — dirt cheap at most big-box stores — and a hill with snow on it.
Slide around in parks or head out to the mountains for some serious slopes. Some ski resorts will even let you take sleds up on the lift or tow ropes on the bunny hills, so you can save yourself all the hiking.
Snowshoes Open Up A Whole New World
So you have your favorite hiking trails up in the mountains, but now they’re covered in deep snow. What do you do?
Answer: get yourself some snowshoes. You can buy your own for under $100 or rent from your local sporting goods store, then just drive somewhere snowy and stomp around, no technical ability required. You might expect snowshoeing to feel like walking in swim fins, but modern snowshoes are light, nimble, and feel basically just like walking — except you can walk anywhere.
Want an even better workout? Some ski areas will let you snowshoe up their slopes without even paying for a lift ticket. You can hike huge peaks or tight trails through the trees that you’d never venture up otherwise — just stay out of skiers’ way.
Just Go For A Walk
If all that fails, just get outside! Walk to the grocery store instead of driving, walk to a coffee shop for a cup of joe, whatever you feel like. Just getting off the couch for half an hour will get your blood moving, get some cold air in your lungs, and have you feeling awake and refreshed.
Winter can be cold, gray, and windy, and you might not get many sunny days to yourself to enjoy it. So make the most of them!