As we get deeper into winter, a lot of us focus on the downsides of the season like less daylight and colder temperatures. But there are plenty of upsides to this time of year as well. Winter activities may be surprisingly fun. Don’t let the cold weather keep you from getting your outdoor exercise, even if you’re over 50.
Here are some of the best ways to stay active outside in the winter:
Build a Snowman
Think you have to be a kid to enjoy building a snowman? Think again! There’s no reason why snowman/snow-woman construction can’t be a winter activity for ages 50+ too! You can move around, work your muscles, enjoy the fresh air, and have fun. Building a snowman is also the chance to exercise your creativity as you try to find ways to craft a snowperson that’s a little more elevated than your average Frosty the Snowman lookalike.
If you do have kids or even grandkids, get them involved in the project! You could even make it into a competition.
Plan a Visit to an Outdoor Attraction
We often think of planning day trips to iconic outdoor venues or tourist hotspots in the warmer months. However, a lot of places like lakes, botanical gardens, parks, or even beaches are still accessible in the winter. The colder months may even bring out different wildlife for you to enjoy. As a bonus, since these places tend to be less popular in the cooler months, you probably won’t have to fight a crowd.
The picture below is from a day trip to visit the Sandy Hook (NJ) lighthouse in the winter. We found no lines and no crowds on the beach where you can see the Manhattan skyline. On the other hand, there was no chance of a suntan under our winter coats, hats, and gloves!
Head to the Slopes
Skiing is a classic winter activity for young and old, amateurs and professionals. Sure, it may take a little more skill and athleticism compared to some of these other activities, but it’s still a great way to stay active outside in the winter. If you’ve never gone skiing before, you’ll probably want to book a lesson first. Bring some friends to make it even more enjoyable. While it may take some practice, you may discover a new favorite hobby!
Go for a Walk, or a Hike
While a winter walk may sound like a very simple idea, it’s still enjoyable and an effective workout. It’s also not too strenuous, making it the perfect outdoor winter activity for ages 50+. While walking around the neighborhood is great exercise, why not find a local hiking trail and take a hike? If venturing out far, just be sure to dress in layers and take a backpack with extra warm clothing to ensure that you are protected.
In spite of the less-than-desirable temperatures, winter can be beautiful! This is another reason to brave the cold and go for a walk. It gives you the chance to look at the icicles, observe patches of pure snow, see fresh wildlife footprints, and maybe snap a few pics while you’re at it.
Click for advice for winter hiking: Tips for Hiking in Cold Weather
Try Snow Shoeing
Of course, walking in the snow can be more physically difficult at times which is why you might consider investing in a pair of snowshoes. Because of the extra surface area of these shoes, you’ll have extra support and be able to stay above the snow as opposed to sinking deep into it. Snowshoes are recommended for snow more than 6 inches high. Practice first in your yard, then go ahead and venture out in a winter wonderland!
Head Outside Even if It’s Cold
Any of these activities are perfect to-do list items when the temperature drops. As long as you’re taking all the right precautions for safety, you can get all the great benefits of being active during the winter without the downsides, especially for those over the age of 50!
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