It’s the middle of winter, and for much of the U.S. and Canada, snow covers the ground and cold temperatures keep us indoors. If you’ve binge-watched every show on Netflix and tried your hand at each new recipe you’ve seen online, then it’s probably time to get outside and participate in some winter fun (and get some exercise, too!).
Being outside reduces exposure to concentrated pollutants – including toxic chemicals and mold – and it also increases creativity and focus. Stuck on something at work? Go for a walk and you could see your problem quickly resolve itself! Spending time in the great outdoors is also an effective way to boost your mood and help relieve the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Here are a few of our favorite winter activities and some of the best places in the U.S. and Canada to enjoy them.
- Skiing and Snowboarding: There’s no better way to spend a winter day than whizzing down a mountain. The scenery is breathtaking, it’s loads of fun, and skiing/snowboarding provides a fantastic workout. No wonder so many fly across the country to hit the slopes. Here are some great destinations for skiing and snowboarding.
- Snowshoeing: If you’re not much of a down-hiller, snowshoeing may be the perfect winter sport for you. Here are some of the best places in Canada and the U.S. for taking in backcountry terrain.
- Sledding: Nothing takes you back to those childhood snow days like sledding down a neighborhood hill. Young or old(ish), all can take advantage of the snow-covered landscape and head out with a sled in tow. Sledding can be enjoyed almost anywhere – provided there is some elevation – but here are some of the best sledding destinations in North America.
- Ice Skating: Wrap a scarf around your neck, lace up your skates and you’ll feel instantly transported into a Norman Rockwell painting. Ice-skating on a frozen pond or lake is quintessential relaxing, winter fun. And you can experience the joy even if you don’t live in a typically chilly locale! Here are some of the best rinks in the U.S. and Canada.
- Hiking: Some of the world’s most spectacular hiking trails, perfect for taking in snowcapped mountain vistas and crisp evergreens, are found in the U.S. and Canada. Check out a few fabulous winter hikes, profiled here on the Eco-Centric blog a few weeks ago.
No matter the activity you take part in, make sure you’re properly dressed in several layers, stay hydrated (the cold air will trick your body into thinking you don’t need liquid – drink up!) and head back into the warm indoors when necessary.