7 Reasons Why Walking in Winter is Best
Whether you’re walking for fitness and weight loss or are simply wanting to make the most of the daylight hours during the cooler months, the change in temperature and weather shouldn’t put you off pulling on your walking boots and hitting the trails. If you needed any more convincing as to why you should make the most of winter and enjoy a hike, then below we’ve looked at just some of the reasons.
Vitamin D and Fresh Air
Essential in promoting bone and tooth health, most of the vitamin D we get is from exposure to sunlight. In the UK, from September to April, daylight hours are reduced and the sun has a lower UVB radiation, both of which can make it more difficult for your body to obtain that all-important vitamin D. Upping the amount of time you spend outdoors during the winter will increase the likelihood of your body obtaining what it needs from the sunlight. To top it up, eating oily fish such as mackerel and sardines, eggs and red meat can help.
Improved Health and Wellbeing
Beat those winter blues with a brisk walk! The NHS states that ‘being active is great for your physical health and fitness, and evidence shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing’. Keeping your body moving, either through a walk or another form of exercise, can have a positive effect on how you’re feeling in yourself. The feel-good factor is boosted through physical activity; it triggers a chemical change in your brain which can improve your mood considerably.
Keep to Your Fitness Regime and Maintain Healthy Habits
As the biting winds and hammering rain draw in, the temptation to remain indoors wrapped up in a blanket and sitting by the fire is almost undeniable. But, staying active and on top of your walking regime will make you feel much better! Studies have shown that regular exercise can make you feel more energetic, which makes getting out of bed on a cold and dark morning that little bit easier! As well as this, your body’s immune system can benefit from a regular walk, which will give you an improved chance of fighting off the common cold and cough. Maintaining positive behaviours throughout the winter months is important. It’s much harder to get the enthusiasm to work out following a lengthy break than it is to stay on top of and continue exercising throughout all of the seasons.
Following the incredible displays of colour that autumn brings, winter presents an entirely different landscape. The crisp and cold temperatures, frostings and stripped-back scenes create a wild and rugged view. Make the most of the reduction in daylight hours by heading out before the sun has risen. Choose a walk where you’ll be able to admire the dawn of a new day and spend an hour or two watching the sunlight bring to life the landscape.
With bare trees and a stillness created from the cool air, spotting wildlife can become much easier during winter. During a hike in the countryside, you could be greeted with the sight of starling murmurations, owls, winter wildfowl and woodpeckers. Keep a close eye on the ground too, as tracks and trails can be easier to spot in wet and muddy areas.
Proactive self-care is vital in both summer and winter. But, when the days are shorter, carving out some ‘you-time’ in your busy schedule can be increasingly difficult. We all need to maintain a balance between work and play. Prioritising a regular winter walk can ensure that you get an hour or two doing what you enjoy most and spending quality time amongst nature.
The First Sip of a Warm Drink on Your Return
It’s always the little things, and the promise of a steaming cup of your favourite hot drink either during a winter walk or when you return can be the ‘cherry on the cake’ when it comes to hitting the trails! Treat yourself to a warm beverage by the fire after an hour or two outdoors and relish every sip!
Top Tips for Winter Walks:
• Avoid overheating while wearing multiple layers; each should be breathable.
• Protect yourself from the wind by wearing lightweight and wind proof outer layers.
• Maintain your heat when you take a break by covering up before your temperature drops.
• Wear mittens rather than gloves, as when your fingers are together, they retain the warmth.
• Wear appropriate footwear to ensure comfort throughout. Choose from either men’s or ladies outdoor boots.
• Take extra care on any snow, ice or uneven ground.
What are your favourite things about walking in winter? Do you have any reasons why heading outdoors during the cooler months is one of the best things to do? Get in touch with us via our social media channels; we always look forward to hearing from you!