About three years ago I started running outside for exercise. Since I started, I haven’t stopped. I love being outside, and it gives me the chance to interact with the day in a hands on, feet on, type of way. I cannot abide the treadmill. I feel caged, staring at my mileage, or a mindless program on the television. Smelling the sanitizer spray. But outside, with the fresh air and no television, just the world at large, there’s never a shortage of things to see. Early one morning, I saw a porcupine lumbering along the road. I’m out with the deer, who curiously stare back at me. I watch the geese migrate.
I’ve now run in three half-marathons – Madison, Chicago, and Door County – which I find invigorating. I’m not really competitive, I just jog along at my own pace, feeding off the energy of all the other runners.
Without running, my mood dips off and gets low, those endorphins are essential to my happiness. To me, winter does not mean retreating indoors. I find it just as essential, if not more, to be outside on a daily basis when the snow sweeps the scenery.
For two years now, I’ve managed to keep active all winter with some essential gear. Nowadays, there’s all sorts of high-tech stuff to keep warm while outdoors. When you choose to live in a climate that’s cold for at least four months of the year, prepare yourself.
Here are ideas for what you’re going to need to be warm and comfortable outside: 5 Essential Pieces of Gear to Stay Active When It’s Cold Outside.
Last year, I finally bought myself a big down winter coat with a fur-lined hood, from Isis, which looks a lot like this and fits like a dream: http://www.isisforwomen.com/nirvana-jacket.html
I also bought a pair of winter boots from Sorel, high enough to stuff my pants in them so they don’t get wet, and rubber on bottom for waterproofing. I now own snow pants from Cold Gear, which made learning to cross-country ski last year considerably easier, given the sheer amount of times I fall.
Don’t let winter be a bully. Push back, and you just might find a middle ground, with rosy cheeks and big smile.