Person Blowing a Handful of Snow in WinterScientists have long heralded the many perks of spending time outside. It improves your mental health, sleep, focus and immunity. What do you do when temperatures are too harsh to stay outside for a long time, though? Here are a few habits you can build so you can maintain some of the benefits.

Combine Exercise With Outside Time

When most people think of spending time outdoors, they tend to imagine activities that take a lot of time. They picture picnics, parties, sporting events and water sports. You don't have to stay outside for long periods to get the physical and mental health rewards that come with it, though. Bundle up and take a few 10-minute walks throughout the day. It may not seem like it makes a lot of difference at first, but you're likely to notice a boost in your mood if you're consistent.

There are also several outdoor activities that work best with winter weather. If you live near a ski resort or have time to take a trip, consider doing so for your winter vacation plans. Some people actually prefer running when it's cold outside because they don't get too overheated. Even something as practical as shoveling the snow and ice off your driveway combines physical activity with time in the sun.

Find Ways To Play

Being outdoors in the winter can be just as fun as it is in the summertime. You just have to adjust your planning to accommodate the weather. It's a good idea to either take warm beverages with you or, if you're going to be close to home, have them ready to go once you get back inside.

Outdoor play is a great way to make memories with family and friends. You can go on a nature hike or play a game of football in the park. Make snow angels or build a snowman. If you celebrate Christmas, kids may be excited to help pick out the tree to decorate together. There are so many options for having fun outside in the winter.

Bring the Outdoors Inside

Fresh air is one of the main benefits of going outside. The ample vegetation purifies the air, and getting a daily dose of it improves lung function, blood pressure and heart rate. There are ways to get some of these perks by adding plants to your home.

Whether you have a green thumb or not, there are houseplants that are both easy to care for and offer various health benefits. Your local nursery probably has quite a few to choose from that are particularly good at filtering the air inside your home:

  • Spider plant
  • Snake plant
  • English ivy
  • Golden pothos

Caring for a houseplant is a symbiotic relationship. The plant helps remove toxins from the air and creates oxygen, and you keep it healthy by following care instructions and providing it with the carbon dioxide you exhale. This process of mutual benefit can ease anxiety and boost your mood.

Take Supplements

Most people get all the vitamin D they need from the sun during warmer months. You still need this important nutrient during the winter, though. If the thought of going outside when it's cold is not appealing, taking a supplement can help you get some of the same benefits. Keep in mind that you will get more from D3 supplements, so be sure to check with your doctor to assess your needs and read the labels before purchasing them.

Many of the benefits of spending time outdoors are still available to you in the winter. You may just need to get a little creative and make adjustments to your regular habits.

Category: Health and Wellness

Add Your Comment

To post a comment you must log in first.

Log in Using: