When a blanket of white covers the mountains, and you can see your breath in the frigid air, it’s tempting to surrender to winter and head for the warmth indoors. But now is the ideal time to venture into nature to enjoy some friendly competition in winter sports.
Snow and ice create a refreshing natural environment that’s not too different from fun summer games. This provides an opportunity to play sports with your family and friends.
Staying safe in cold weather
If you’re planning to be outside in the cold for any period, it’s good to be prepared. From your skin to your outfit, here are some reminders on how to stay safe and active during the cold season:
Put Moisturizer And Lip Balm
It turns out that if you live at higher altitudes or in dry climates during the winter, you might notice your skin feeling dryer than usual, plus the sun’s heat intensity is greater at higher altitudes. That means you need to lather your face with sunscreen even amidst the snow.
If you’ll spend hours under the sun doing snow sports, you would need to put on some sunscreen — everywhere, from the eyelids down to the neck. A study in Plos One found that skiers missed roughly 10 percent of their skin when they put on sunscreen. Sun exposure can also make your lips more susceptible to cold sores. Protect those lips by using a lip balm with zinc oxide.
Wear Appropriate Outdoor Clothing
When the weather outside is chilly, it’s important to stay warm to avoid risks such as hypothermia. Dress in layers made of suitable material. If it gets warm, you can always shed some of your clothing. Wear a wool hat to protect your head, gloves for your hands, a scarf around your neck, and boots that are waterproof to protect your feet. Also, wear gear needed for outdoor snow activities like goggles, thicker gloves, and the right kind of footwear.
For example, if you plan to go skiing, wearing the right attire can affect your performance. It can give you a full range of movement like quality base layers for innerwear, the right kind of ski pants, helmet, face mask, goggles, and a good-quality jacket. An Obermeyer ski jacket is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts for its waterproof breathable technology.
Warm-up and Stretch
Before jumping into your activities, it’s best to do some warm-ups for the blood to circulate. You can take a brisk walk, do some lunges, and stretch your muscles. Start slow then gradually speed up your exercises. While doing the activities, better listen to your body. Stop if you’re experiencing any of the following signs of a heart attack: chest pain or discomfort, shoulder, neck, or upper back pain, dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath.
Snow activities you need to try
There are tons of things to do when winter comes, dress warmly, get your gear, and head outdoors. Here are a few ideas for winter enthusiasts.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Yes, these two activities are really common for snow sports, but some people still haven’t tried them due to their popularity and that it looks easy with sliding down the hill with little effort involved, but it takes core engagement to guide your movements as you slide down. It’s challenging to remain in control of your direction, and you’d be surprised with how much you’ll sweat after.
Snowboarding is a surprisingly recent sport, developed in the USA in the 1960s and added to the Winter Olympics in 1998. It was created to mimic surfing on snow and ice. These activities require a specific set of skills and physics to master the craft. However, once you’ve learned how to do it, it’s easy to understand why people love the sport.
Snowkiting or kite skiing is a combination of snow skiing and snowboarding, but with power, a kite attached to a harness. It is an easy and fun way to get out in the snow. Imagine being strapped on some boards and getting carried 20 feet above the snow.
You can fly down hills, cruise across flat areas, or soar above mountain tops. Snowkiting is more than just having fun, it’s one of the best ways to learn about kiteboarding.
You probably wouldn’t think of going on a hike when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. That is unless you bring along some snowshoes. Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the winter woods! Dressed warmly in snow boots, snow pants, and an outer layer, you can explore winter’s wonders; experiencing first-hand the muffled sounds of crisp snow beneath you.
Snowshoeing is a fun winter activity that is becoming increasingly popular. More and more people are getting outside after a snowfall to enjoy the scenery from a new perspective. Plus, you get a great core workout, too.
Ice fishing is an outdoor sport that takes place during winter. Fishermen sit on the frozen lakes, ponds, and streams to fish. It takes a lot of patience but pays off when people catch big fish. Bluegill, crappie, sunfish, and perch are the primary prey of most ice anglers. They are easily caught with simple and inexpensive equipment.
Climbing up a vertical sheet of ice may seem like an extreme sport, but it can be beginner-friendly with instructions from a certified guide. Even better? You wear special spikes on your shoes that make it easier to hold onto the ice than when you go rock climbing.
Winter is the best time for snow-based recreational activities such as skiing, ice climbing, and snowshoeing. Just remember to be safe, keep your body warm, and your heart beating by unleashing your adventurous spirit when doing such activities.