by Sara Ifert
on Thursday, December 10th, 2020 at 10:56am.
Winter is just around the corner, and although it may be more challenging this year due to the pandemic, there are ways to make it easier and more fun. Just because your usual winter activities may be less feasible this year doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the season. Here are 5 ways to prepare for a happier and healthier winter that keep you safe.
Get outside for winter fun. Fresh air and sunlight go a long way to improving mood, so don’t forget about all of the fun outdoor winter activities that are available this time of year! Try ice skating, cross country skiing, or taking winter hikes. Dane County Park’s winter recreation guide is a great resource for finding fun ways to be active outside. You can also visit the City of Madison Parks site to see the many types of winter recreational opportunities at city parks or to find your closest sledding hill.
Plan ahead for your winter workouts. Many people have been working out outside this year, and just because winter weather is coming doesn’t mean you need to stop. Start thinking about how you will adapt your workout routine to the colder weather. If you want to continue your workouts outdoors, consider whether you need to purchase any warm workout gear to keep you warm. Many local running and sporting goods stores offer curbside pickup for these items. Don’t forget headlamps or reflective gear if you’ll be working out after dark or before sunrise. Also consider winter boots or shoes that keep you sure-footed on slippery surfaces. In terms of outdoor workouts, the best way to start a routine is to begin before the weather turns cold. That way you’ll be less likely to lose motivation when chilly days arrive.
If you prefer indoor workouts, see if your favorite gym or yoga studio offers an online membership for virtual classes. Many local fitness studios offer the option and are a great way to stay connected and motivated to workout. There are also many workouts you can do right at home with minimal equipment. Even body weight exercises like push-ups or burpees, and jumping jacks for cardio, can be an effective home workout.
Make a plan for social connection. Gathering with people outside of your household may be not advisable this winter, so consider other ways to stay connected. Socially distanced walks and hikes are still okay if you’re up for the cold weather, or you can take things virtual. Set up weekly calls or video chats with your friends and family so you can stay in touch. Zoom happy hours, game nights, book clubs, and cooking dates are all fun options. Or, attend a virtual networking event to help you expand your network from the comfort of your couch.
Learn a new skill or hobby. If you’ll have more time on your hands, one thing you can think about is learning a new skill or picking up a hobby. UW Connects has a number of free virtual events that feature UW-Madison experts on a variety of topics - like music, arts, climate change, astronomy, and more.
Freshen up your home. What would make your home more comfortable? You can also use the winter months to tackle some home decor or home improvement projects. Perhaps there’s a room that needs a fresh coat of paint, or you finally are ready to build out a home office in your basement. Check out some easy ways to update your space with paint on one of our recent blog posts. Get the supplies and plans ready so you can start when the weather turns cold.
Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in 2021? Reach out for a consultation with one of our agents. We’ll help you put your best foot forward so you can make your dream a reality!