We tend to spend the coolest months of the year indoors – huddled around a fireplace and sheltered from the wind, the rain and the snow. That’s understandable, seeing as we spend so much time outdoors in the summer months. But that needn’t be the case. The winter is replete with its own beauties and charms, and there are plenty of outdoor activities that’ll keep you warm and healthy that you can get into until spring.
Here are four of the best winter hobbies that you can pick up to spend more time outside.
If you live by a lake that freezes over during the winter, ice skating might be the most serene of winter sports to get into. But it’s likely that you don’t live by a lake, and so a more accessible option is roller skating or blading. This hobby gets you out on the roads and sidewalks – and into parks and along cycle lanes – drifting peacefully through winter scenes. All you’ll need to pick up this hobby are some skates, some skate knee pads, and a little research on the best places to take yourself in your local area.
Because you’ll be in a drysuit or a wetsuit, sailing doesn’t have to be a cold and shivering affair. Actually, because you’ll be battling to keep your dinghy steady and catching the wind, you’ll find yourself staying warm on the cold waters near your home. Sailing is a fantastic winter pursuit, because the weather tends to be a little fiercer in the winter – which means higher winds and faster sailing. This is also a hobby that you can carry through to summer, and even on vacations abroad. Take a handful of lessons this winter to get up to speed with how to sail, and then let loose on your local body of water.
There are summer hikes and winter hikes. The former often involve you strolling through flowery meadows in shorts and a T-shirt under the beating sun. But the latter has its own charm – you’ll be hiking over fallen leaves and past stark, bare trees. And if you have a mountain near your home, you’ll be able to enjoy passing up to the snow line, performing your own mini expedition. Be careful to stay safe on these hikes and to always have a communication device with you should anything go wrong.
Perhaps not for the faint-hearted, wild swimming is soaring in popularity at the moment. That’s because people are coming to realize the profound mental health and wellbeing benefits of leaving their comfort zone and jumping into freezing cold water. After a little while swimming, your body will adapt and you’ll feel fine swimming in the winter. Just be sure to have your car parked close to where you’re swimming, with towels and spare clothes at the ready for when you get out.
There are dozens of winter hobbies that can enliven you during the coldest month of the year, and these four are particularly enjoyable despite the dropping temperatures and shorter days.