Why It Is Crucial to Get Outside in the Winter


By Eliza Cullen

Winter in New Hampshire is a great time to settle down by the fire with a cozy blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. The harsh weather and freezing temperatures makes it difficult for people to get the motivation to get up and go outside during the winter months. It is important to remember, though, that it is crucial for your health and happiness to continue to be outside and get exercise. Staying inside in the winter makes you lose out on the biggest source of Vitamin D: the sun. In fact, most people get 80 to 90 percent of their Vitamin D intake from the sun. Few foods carry Vitamin D so, especially in the winter, it is important to try to get outside, even if it is only for ten minutes a day to get the amount of Vitamin D you need.

Eliza and her group snowshoeing down a trail.

You might be asking, what’s so important about getting Vitamin D? Well, the answer is a lot of things. Vitamin D helps calcium get absorbed in the gut. The calcium, once it is absorbed, will help make your bones strong and less likely to break.

It is also important to continue to get exercise in the winter. Exercising is not only beneficial for your physical health, but your mental health as well. When you exercise, you body releases chemicals called endorphins. The chemical sends a message to your brain that diminishes the pain receptors so you feel less pain. It also triggers a happy feeling in your body that is similar to the effects of morphine. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress, boost self esteem, improve sleep, increase energy levels and many more things that improve overall quality of life.

Luckily for us, even though it is cold, there are lots of things that we can do to get exercise and Vitamin D in the winter. Whether you are going skiing, snowshoeing or ice climbing, spending any time in the outdoors will pay off physically and mentally.