5 Outdoor Winter Activities for Your Recovery
Breathing fresh air, absorbing vitamin D, and relaxing your mind — most of us know that the great outdoors is good for us. Now that winter is approaching, though, outdoor activities call for a bit more preparation, especially if you live in a snowy climate. But just because it may be colder, doesn’t mean you should avoid going outside.
Outdoor winter activities are also a great way to ensure that those in recovery stay engaged with their support group in new and novel ways. It may not always be your first thought to get outside once the temperature dips, but we listed 5 outdoor winter activities for those in recovery below.
Take a hike
Winter is a great time to observe the beauty of nature with a new lens. You’ll likely see different species of birds and other animals that are more difficult to spot the rest of the year when foliage hides them. It’s also a great way to get in touch with your body, get some exercise, and unwind your mind.
A winter hike can also provide you with some much-needed vitamin D. In the colder, darker months, our vitamin D levels can dip, and giving yourself a little boost with an outdoor hike can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Don’t worry, the cold doesn’t impact the benefits of getting outside, either!
Studies have shown that those who go outdoors on bright sunny days, regardless of temperature, feel happier, more relaxed, and in a better mood. So grab a hat, some mittens, maybe some snow boots, and get out there. Even better, turn your nature hike into a group hike with friends.
Remember that winter weather can be tricky! Check the forecast beforehand, bring plenty of water, and pack some extra layers just in case.
If you’re in a snowy climate, snowshoeing is a fun and challenging winter activity. Snowshoeing allows you to explore a larger swath of wintery wonderland that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to trek through in boots alone. Bundle up and hit the trails to check out different peaks for a workout with amazing views!
Tubing and sledding
Who said tubes and sleds are just for kids? Get in touch with your inner child — and invite a group of friends — to go tubing or sledding on your neighborhood hill for some no-cost winter fun. Many mountain resorts also have tubing hills, complete with tube and human escalators so you can keep going down the hill again and again, without tiring.
Skiing and snowboarding
If you’ve skied or snowboarded before, then you know what a workout it is. Skiing or snowboarding doesn’t have to be exclusive to seasoned veterans, though. Adults can take on this new hobby in the winter by taking beginner lessons and even visiting the slopes in a group. Though it requires access to mountains, most resorts offer great deals on lessons and gear rentals during their powder seasons, if you want to try it out.
Check out holiday light displays & open-air markets
Wintertime can feel magical, with all the lights and decorations dotting your neighborhood. Why not stroll through your town or city center in the evening to take in all the displays? It’s free and a great workout.
You can also check out local holiday markets, usually held in downtown areas. Shop for your holiday gifts, enjoy some more traditional holiday fare, and take in the glittering lights. Go alone or invite a friend — the more the merrier.
Get moving year-round at The Phoenix
Building a supportive community and adopting new hobbies are important milestones along your recovery journey. At The Phoenix, we aim to build a sober active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection — all year-round.
We offer a variety of exercise options and group activities, both indoor and outdoor, at our in-person locations and even online. Want to keep moving this winter and connect with like-minded people on their own journey? Find a class or group activity to take part in and rise with us.