When colder temperatures arrive, it’s easy to want to curl up in a blanket and stay indoors. However, getting outdoors in the wintertime is still good for your health.

Spending time outdoors can lower your stress, increase creativity and provide you with a healthy dose of Vitamin D. It can even lower your risk of depression and anxiety that sometimes comes from spending too much time inside during the winter months,” says Avni Jain, MD, a family medicine physician with Adventist HealthCare Adventist Medical Group.

Here are some tips for spending more time outside this winter.

Find an activity you enjoy. You are more likely to spend time outside if you spend that time doing something you enjoy. Consider ice skating, snowboarding or going on a scenic nature walk.

Layer your clothes. Choose a base layer fabric, such as polyester or wool, that wicks sweat from your skin. Your middle layer insulates your body heat. Consider a fleece or down jacket as a middle layer to insulate your body heat. Finally, your outer layer should be waterproof in case it snows or rains. Don’t forget your hat, gloves or mittens, socks and waterproof shoes!

Keep moving. Your blood flow will increase from being physically active, which keeps you warm and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

Get your family and friends involved. Including others strengthens your relationships and keeps you motivated to stay active.

While outdoor activity is great in every season, it is important to take some extra precautions during the winter.

Winter Safety Tips

  • Watch out for ice. Make sure your shoes have good traction. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible with rock salt or sand.
  • Stay dry. Wet clothing can quickly make you cold. If you are going to be spending a lot of time outside, pack some extra dry clothing just in case.
  • Do not ignore shivering. It is your body telling you that it is losing heat. Head inside to warm up.