Outdoor Activities to Try This Winter
Winter weather brings chilly temperatures, falling snow, and early evenings. It may feel tempting to curl up inside with a warm blanket. But, there are loads of good reasons to enjoy time outdoors during the winter. Not only is nature in winter beautiful, time outdoors is good for your health.
Spending time outdoors helps to relieve anxiety, boosts your immune system, improves your sleep cycle and helps you maintain a healthy weight. So, how can you get the whole family outdoors this winter?
Create an outdoor living area
The easier way to escape the confines of your home this winter is by setting up an outdoor living space. Start with a few outdoor Adirondack chairs, making sure to have one for each member of the family, including child-sized seats, and a few extra for spur-of-the-moment guests. Arrange the chairs around a fire pit and add cozy pillows and blankets in weather-proof fabrics.
To set an even cozier mood, string twinkle lights in a nearby tree or shrub. A comfortable outdoor seating area will encourage the whole family to relax outdoors instead of plopping in front of the television or computer screen.
Host a s’mores party
Whether you are looking for a fun family evening, a date night at home, or an outdoor get-together for family and friends, a s’mores party is always a hit. Even better, with an outdoor seating area containing Adirondack chairs and a fire pit, much of the work is done.
To complete your party setup, position an outdoor table several feet away from the the fire pit, and stock it with fun s’more supplies. While the traditional elements are just graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars, feel free to get more creative. Bowls of peanut-butter cups, cookies, pretzels, fruit, white chocolate and caramel allow guests design their own gourmet s’mores.
A silly term for a simple activity, plogging is a combination of the words “jogging” and “plucking.” The trend started in Sweden and involves going for a jog and picking up trash along the way. While going for an outdoor run might seem like a spring or summer activity, the winter months are perfect for plogging.
First, most trash pick-up activities and beach cleanups are scheduled in the warmer months, which means there aren’t many groups out collecting trash in the colder months. Second, litter on the road side can get buried in layers of snow, which makes an even larger mess. Plus, when winter weather threatens to nudge you out of your fitness routine, remembering that you are also doing something kind for Mother Nature might give you an extra push.
Plogging also has an added fitness benefit because, rather than just jogging, you will also be doing squats and bends while collecting trash. This winter, throw on some cold-weather gear, grab a trash bag and get to plogging. And, don’t worry if you aren’t a runner. This activity works just as well on a walk.
Paint on snow
If you need a creative outlet this winter, painting on snow is fun for kids of all ages. Start by filling spray bottles or cups with ice-cold water and gather up a few paint brushes. Head outside and simply spray, splash and splatter paint onto the store in whatever patterns and shapes feel right to you.
Painting on snow is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to encourage the family to play outside this winter. And, since the canvas will melt away, clean up is easy.
Shovel snow for a neighbor
If you have a neighbor who could use a little help shoveling snow or raking leaves this winter, take advantage of the opportunity to reap the benefits of spending time outdoors while also doing a little good. Winter can be a difficult time for many senior citizens, because the colder weather brings a greater risks of pneumonia, joint pain, heart issues and injuries.
Often, local volunteer centers, churches and community centers will have lists of community members who could use help. But, lending a helping hand can be as easy as knocking on a door with a snow shovel or rake in hand and offering a bit of friendly assistance.
Winter is the perfect time for stargazing thanks to clear skies. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air, so winter skies are less hazy than spring and summer skies. Plus, the short days of winter mean there is more hours of darkness to enjoy the stars. Stargazing is an ideal way to teach kids about the moon, stars and constellations.
Plus, stargazing is a perfect at-home romantic evening. This winter, mix up a warm beverage, wrap up in a snuggly blanket, sit back in a comfortable Adirondack chair and stare up at the stars.