How to stop being afraid of the cold - our hot tips for getting outside this winter (without joining a fitness club!)
Brrrr! It’s cold out there!
We know that as temperatures drop it’s so tempting to grab your slippers, hot chocolate, curl up by the fire and say “see you in spring!” If your’re finding it hard to get up, get out, and get your vitamin D for the day, then fear no more. We’ve got some simple solutions for getting you out of the house. They’re easy, free and fun! (We promise!)
Getting outside is so essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. We don’t have to be hitting the gym every day to work on our physical fitness goals. Walking to work, a stroll in the park or running after the kids at the playground are all valuable.
If you want to be well throughout winter (and who doesn’t?), it doesn't have to cost the earth. Being in New Zealand means we’re blessed with sunny winter days, and stunning views to be found all over the country if we’re getting out and about. What a shame to be sweating under the fluorescent lights in an expensive fitness club or gym. We love this NZ instagrammer for wilderness inspiration!
nz.nature.highlights on instagram
Here’s our top three tips for getting your butt (and the rest of you!) outside in the sunshine this winter:
- Find an Outside Buddy
There’s nothing better for our health than friends. Finding a buddy is such a great accountability tool. Worried that you’ll get lazy and give up on going for a walk? Commit to meeting a friend instead. Great exercise and great quality time - 2 for 1!
- Sitting Still
“Wait, I can get fit without moving!?” Mental and emotional wellbeing are such an important part of overall wellness. And you don’t have to be a meditation guru. Sitting quietly somewhere in nature for any period of time is proven to have benefits for us, including boosting mood, reducing stress and many others! (Thorpe, 2023)
Bonus points here if you find a beautiful spot somewhere near your house that you can walk to.
- Find an Outside Hobby
Finding a hobby that you love is such a great motivator. Remember the last time you were so excited to practise and learn a new skill? This should be something you feel energised by. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try, or be good at? The only catch - it’s got to be outside! Here’s our ideas:
- Tree & Plant identification.
- Native bird spotting.
- Skimming stones.
- Hula Hooping
- Walking or jogging.
Setting your hoop on fire is a great way to keep warm! Our friends at Flaming Caravan show us how.
Still scared of the cold? Did we mention how happy the sunshine will make you? Not only is sunshine proven to keep Seasonal Defective Disorder at bay, it’s also proven to reduce stress and anxiety (Tircitymed.org, 2023). And let’s face it, who couldn’t use an anxiety reduction in this crazy world?
Need another reason to get outside? It’s even possible that gyms and fitness clubs can cause increased stress and anxiety. Ever felt guilty about paying for a gym subscription and not using it am much as you’d like? We are getting stressed out just thinking about it!
Hopefully you’re putting your walking shoes on already and heading out the door! Don’t forget your jacket (just in case!) and maybe a water bottle. We hope you have a fun and magical time. Approach the world with a childish wonder- watch the clouds, don’t step on the cracks and say hi to all the birds you see.
Remember, that getting outside should be fun and easy (we know it doesn’t always feel like that). But like most things, practice makes perfect, and physical and emotional wellbeing is a habit that you can build over time.
Hula Hooping is a great activity that will boost your mood and physical fitness. It’s fabulous for movers and groovers of any age. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to move but isn’t able to walk or jog too much, because it is low impact. Start your search for your perfect hula hoop here.