10 Benefits of Winter Activities

Written by Julia 13 January 2019

Snowshoes at the ready outside the Bonatti hut in Italy. Snowshoes at the ready outside the Bonatti hut in Italy.

After the festive cheer and indulgence, winter can be a tough time of year to remain active. Shorter days and cold weather can test our resolve for getting outdoors and exercising, even if we reap the rewards of this effort when the spring arrives.

Here are our 10 reasons why taking up a new winter activity or booking a winter holiday is a good idea and could be the perfect antidote to any hint of the winter blues.

1. Try something new

If you’ve never tried a winter activity then why not make it your goal for this winter?! Be it in your home country or by travelling abroad experiencing a new sport or the challenge of learning a skill is both rewarding and fun! Be it alpine skiing, telemarking, ski touring, snowshoeing, ice climbing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or ice hockey - we are convinced there is an activity for everyone!

2. Meet new people 

Group activities are a perfect opportunity to make new friends, like-minded people and enjoy a shared experience. Strangers can soon become life-long friends, and herald the start of many more outdoor adventures! (We have certainly seen this first hand on many of our holidays).

3. Winter sun, clean air, blue skies

Your doctor will thank you. Winter mountain adventures offer spectacular mountain scenery, that also boast life-enhancing natural benefits such as clean air, dry climates and a high chance of sunny days. The 'Alps' used to be prescribed by doctors to patients with all manner of ailments, so get ahead of the game and go for the ‘ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure’ approach.

4. The Green Gym

Forget those expensive gym memberships, this one is free and open all-hours! Exercising outdoors benefits not only your fitness, but also your wider physical and mental health. Unless you work outside, it’s highly likely you’ll spend most of your time indoors, inactive. This makes getting active outside even more essential in the modern work era, since it gets us moving, expands our horizons and allows those everyday concerns to ‘fall away like the leaves of autumn’ as Ecologist John Muir said. Booking that active winter adventure is the perfect way to motivate yourself to getting the most from the outdoor gym.

5. BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS - ON SNOWSHOES...

Enjoy fresh mountain air and explore nature along the way. You don't have to be a mountaineer or ice climber to snowshoe. On the contrary, snowshoeing is suitable for all ages and abilities. This ancient form of winter travel allows any one who likes to walk access to a winter wonderland. From flat trails to adventurous summits and point to point journeys. It's simply winter walking, on snowshoes. Check out more on snowshoeing.

6. 'THE' winter cross trainer

You already run, bike, hike, row, swim or gym? Then try cross country skiing this winter. This perfect way of 'cross training' attracts people from many backgrounds and abilities to enhance their fitness, stay motivated, and reduce the risk of overuse injuries during the winter months. Many runners turn to cross country skiing as in just a few hours it's possible to venture off into the wilderness, slide on perfectly groomed and enjoy a full body work out at the same time.

7. Explore

Explore the mountains of the world in winter! Activities like skiing and snowshoeing can open up a lifetime of adventures, that you may not even be aware of yet! Stepping into the 'unknown' and taking on a new physical challenge can open up new horizons and develop interests. Whether you’re intrigued by the scenic and cultural aspects of an area, sporting goals, wilderness environment or would like to experience a new perspective on life then there is a destination for everyone.

8. Race ready

If you have any races or training aims for 2019, then winter is the time to start preparing. Give yourself the motivational edge and get your 'base' training done somewhere fun this winter. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing both offer fitness benefits, but the latter will do wonders for your cardiovascular endurance while working your more neglected muscles such as your hip flexors and psoas. Once mastered why not enter a cross country ski race? (We are always happy to help you reach your goals.)

9. See the Northern Lights

The aurora borealis is one light show you’ll want to see at least once in your lifetime, and what better way to see it than after a days cross country skiing in either Finland or Norway? Last winter we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights almost every night!

10. BEAT THE WINTER BLUES!

The benefits of a winter activity holiday quite simply tick the boxes scientifically proven to beat the winter blues. From making your environment brighter, eating well, exercising to getting outside are all ways that can improve focus, reduce symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and lower stress levels.

Give your diary a special entry and something to look forward to this winter be it the luxury of a holiday, an intro skate lesson at your local rink or join a group for an organised ski or snowshoe. We all need a boost now and again, so why not give yourself the gift of a winter adventure, and better still where you have everything taken care of?

We can help...our Swiss Alps Cross Country Ski week or French Alps Snowshoe Long Weekend are both geared towards those venturing out for the first time on either snowshoes or cross country skis. If you would like to try any of the other winter sports mentioned then get in touch as we can help, and enjoy making these things happen.

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