Why You Shouldn't Hibernate During Winter
As the weather gets colder, many of us prefer to escape the cold, by staying indoors. Well, what if we told you that not only is being outdoors better for your mental health but also, there are many different ways to enjoy the great outdoors without feeling the wrath of the cold too badly!
In today's blog, we break down all the benefits of hiking and trail running in winter, and also, some advice for keeping warm and safe on icy trails.
Why Should You Be Outdoors in Winter?
1. The Peaceful Experience
Of course, many people don’t tend to go out for a hike or trail run during winter because it’s cold and the days seem shorter. Therefore, this offers you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the calmness of nature and the serenity of being away from the bustling city, instead simply enjoying the quiet.
2. Gain A New Perspective on Winter
The only way to get rid of winter blues is by creating moments that remind you of all this season has to offer. By creating beautiful and exciting moments outdoors in winter, you are giving yourself a whole new perspective on the season, and in future, this will help you to stay active.
3. Experience Different Flora and Fauna
Because we tend to stay indoors during winter, it is easy to miss out on the wonders that this season brings! The new critters that perhaps sneak out, the different flora that thrives in the cold.
And, if you live in the snowy mountains or countryside, you’re missing out on the wonderous fairy-tale Winter experience.
4. Improved Health
Winter often means icy or snowy conditions, and this requires more effort on your end. This is great news for your muscles and core strength because these areas of the body are being exercised more intensely when you are running through icy terrains. Furthermore, the extra effort that is used means that you are working towards improving your cardiovascular health.
5. Improved Energy and Sleep
As you may already know, the benefits that exercise and outdoor activity have on one's health are infinite! This is exactly why you should not take a break from it during winter.
To refresh your memory, exposure to natural light during the day can help regulate your circadian rhythm which in turn leads to improved quality of sleep. Additionally, being physically active increases your energy levels and leads to improved cognitive function. Two things that are essential for leading a well-balanced life.
6. Challenge Yourself to Stay Active
We are all familiar with that feeling of accomplishment you get when you exceed your expectations.
Being outdoors in winter may seem strange at first, perhaps even unpleasant to those who initially always opted to remain indoors in bed, however, that rush of serotonin you receive after enjoying an invigorating hike/run is what makes it all worth it.
What Do You Need For a Successful Winter Out Door Excursion
- Layers are important. You want to wear clothes that are thermal, moisture-wicking, and antibacterial if possible. For example, our Geoms LS Tee is a lightweight long-sleeve t-shirt that can be worn on its own, but for the icier days, it is ideal for layering.
- Footwear is essential because you want to ensure that your feet are well protected. For example, our Erie Mid Leather WP features Merrell Air Cushion in the heel which absorbs shock and adds stability, in addition, the Kinetic Fit™ BASE removable contoured insole allows for flexible support. Our Alverstone 2 Mid WP is another fantastic option, which is not only waterproof but includes a protective toe cap, making it ideal for rockier conditions.
- Insulated jackets are ideal for locking in warmth. When choosing an insulated jacket, ensure that the outer layer is windproof/waterproof, and the inner has a warm lining, providing you with protection from the elements.
- Insulated pants are also recommended because you want to ensure that most of your body is kept warm and dry throughout your hike. Overall, this will ensure that you enjoy your winter hike to the fullest!
- Warm headwear once again speaks to the above point. But, let’s just take a moment to agree, that when a draft or rain is pelting against our heads, it is truly unpleasant! Therefore, you’ll want to look for a warm hat/beanie that covers your forehead and ears.
With these helpful tips, you are now well-equipped to embark on your winter hiking adventure with confidence! Say goodbye to staying indoors all winter and embrace the beauty of the great outdoors.
Take that first step and experience the joys of winter hiking with Merrell by your side.