Merging with Nature in Cold Weather
People are somewhat removed from nature in our daily lives. This is especially true in winter. When the weather turns icy cold, we turn to the couch. There’s nothing quite as cozy as reading a book with your favorite hot drink. However, winter is also a great time to surround yourself with nature. Getting outside is just plain fun. Nature experiences help families bond and add richness and wonder to our lives. Here are 6 excellent ideas for getting out and enjoying nature this winter.
- Walking or Hiking
Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise. It requires very little equipment and planning and is easy for most people. Walking and hiking are also great ways to enjoy nature and appreciate the beautiful winter weather. Most people think of walking through the woods as a warm-weather activity, but it’s also wonderful to do when the air is cold. Plan your route and work up slowly to longer distances and at a quicker pace. Take time to enjoy the solitude and sounds nature has to offer this time of year.
If you’ve never gone on a walk in the snow with shoes that look like tennis rackets strapped to your feet, you’re missing out. Snowshoeing is a great cardio activity! It may take some practice to acclimatize with snowshoes, but they offer more traction to keep your feet above the snow. Snowshoeing is also a superb social activity that all ages and ability levels can enjoy together. Few outdoor activities are beginner-friendly and this requires only a few basic techniques. If you plan to venture off easy trails, you’ll need to learn how to go up and down hills, traverse slopes, use your poles, how to get up after you fall in deep snow and how to avoid and to prepare for avalanches. If you’re new to snowshoeing, you can try renting snowshoes first to see if it’s something you enjoy.
- Cross Country Skiing
Ready to kick your winter activities up a notch? Cross country skiing or Nordic skiing is a serious winter workout. Like running, cross country skiing burns calories and gets the blood pumping. For beginners, a lesson or two can be a worthwhile investment. Cross country skiing is an amazing workout and there are no steep mountains to worry about.
- Gaze at the stars
For those who enjoy stargazing, the chilly winter will bring peak viewing conditions—a great reason to look forward to winter coming. Nights are long in the winter, giving us a bigger window in which to enjoy the wonders of the universe. Winter is also the time of year when some of the largest and most dramatic constellations, including Gemini, Monoceros, and Orion the Hunter come out, as well as breathtaking deep-sky formations like the Pleiades. While it may sound more pleasant to lie out in the fields and gaze up at the stars in the comfort of a breezy summer night, remember that the winter sky has a magic about it that is worth the extra patience.
- Create ice sculpture
This is an easy and fun activity for the whole family, especially when the temperatures get really cold. There is a lot of fun to be had by creating ice sculptures. Gather a variety of empty containers with large openings, such as milk cartons, juice boxes, and bowls. Collect water in your containers and color with food coloring, if desired. Leave the containers of water outside to freeze. Carefully remove your containers to reveal your ice sculptures. Arrange pieces in the order of an ice castle. For an added effect, place Christmas lights underneath and turn them on at night. People passing by will be amazed by your ice sculpture.
- Enjoy a snow day
Enjoying the snow while it’s fresh can be an exhilarating pleasure. Whether you choose to take a leisurely walk in the snow or ride swiftly down a hillside, white snow is not to be missed. Building snowmen and snow forts is also a great way to exercise and it’s totally free and fun. Especially during heavy snowfalls, the possibilities are endless. Maybe you don’t need to be a kid to make a huge snowman, build a snow fort, or have a snowball fight with your neighbors. As long as you’re out in the sun with a smile on your face, you’re doing it right.
Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, with others or alone, I hope you find the connections this winter. Nature is not only outside, it’s inside of you too. What activities will you do in winter? You are welcome to interact with us in the comments. Let’s get out and enjoy nature in winter together!