Friluftsliv – in other words don’t let winter keep you in

“I’m just not a winter person!” “I don’t have the clothes to go outside.” “It’s too cold!” “There’s nothing to do outdoors in the winter.” “Just let me hibernate!” I’ve heard it all before but I’m here to add my voice to all the others telling you that this year is different. It’s time to become a winter person and get outdoors this season.

Regardless of where you live you really need to continue to go outdoors for you own health and well being. The winter sun and fresh air will make you feel better just like it did this summer. Take a break from all the stress. Change your clothes and change your mind to allow you to step outdoors into the wonder of winter, you’ll be glad you did.

Blue Zones introduced me to Friluftsliv, a Norwegian word that illustrates the commitment to celebrating time outdoors. I love having a word to describe the mindset of getting outdoors regardless of the weather. We may not all be of Norwegian or “Scandahovian” (as my dad liked to call it) descent, but we can all find the winter person with us and experience the joy of crisp air, brilliant blue skis and cold snow under our feet. ( did you know that snow squeaks when it’s really cold outside?)

To get started first envision yourself being out in winter. Talk about the things you like about winter. Look in your closet for warm layers to wear, maybe even buy a fun and snuggly scarf or hat as your “go outside” accessory. Dig in the back of the closet for your snow boots.

Now ready, set, go! Just like if you were starting any new activity, start slow and easy. No need to stay out until you get cold. No expectations for you to become a downhill racer. Just go out and start moving. Take a walk, borrow a sled from the kid next door, throw a snowball, run and slide on the ice. Celebrate the weather and the joy of being alive and outdoors.

and next time someone talks about how much they “h… winter” you can help turn them around with stories about how much fun you’re having out in the snow.

fox tracks seen off the 6 shooter chairlift in Moonlight Basin, Big Sky, Montana

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