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Connect Despite the Cold—The Health Benefits Are Worth It

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Headquartered as we are in Indiana, winters typically are ignorable—cold, sometimes snowy, but not harsh enough that we have to truly acknowledge them. Until now, when COVID-19 concerns are keeping everyone at a distance and making inside gatherings out of the question.

We’re going to have to bundle up and try a new approach. The Scandinavians can show us the way: Friluftsliv is the notion that embracing the cold isn’t just practical given the longevity of winter but mentally and physically beneficial. “Out on a hike, never in a bad mood,” say the Norwegians, and who could argue?

Put on a few layers, gather a couple of friends to meet you for socially distanced winter activities. Maybe one of these ideas will light a fire under you.

  • Geocaching gets you outside, gives you an opportunity to discover new things about where you live, and offers a cooler-named treasure hunt opportunity.
  • Snowga exists, and apparently is incredible. If you’ve long recoiled against hot yoga, you’re basically duty-bound to give snowga a try.
  • And when snow’s on the ground, the fun level increases exponentially. Grab your sled, or snowshoes, or cross-country skis. Or forget all that for the giggly fun of snow angels.
  • The only nice thing about the extended darkness is that it offers more time to stargaze. Might be worth dragging out a telescope and a star map. Or just look up. That’s cool, too.
  • Give outdoor sports a try. Basketball and tennis are fab, but doesn’t cold weather and coronavirus-related frustration just call out for axe throwing? Archery, at the very least. You’ll improve your hand-eye coordination and maybe wow your pals.
  • Keep warm with an obstacle course race. Have each participant bring a goofy prize and create a challenge for your course. Social distancing means you’ll have to race one at a time, but that just makes room for more cheering (and jeering).

The tips above can help you connect with friends and family despite the restrictions the virus has put on all of us. And, as we all continue to work to slow the spread of COVID-19, remember that we’re all in this together!

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