If you’re looking to beat seasonal depression this winter, getting outdoors, even during this frigid weather we’ve been experiencing in the Northeast, is one of the best ways to do it. I’ve put together a little guide on how to survive the elements and make the most of this winter season.

 

Timing

When heading outside during this cold weather, you’ll want to pick the mildest times of the day. Middle of the day is when the sun is at its highest and can provide the most warmth.

 

Check the weather

Whether you’re using an app on your smartphone or watching the news for your local weather, you’ll want to pay close attention to what the windchill is. Exposed skin to negative windchill temperatures of -18°F or lower can result in frostbite as fast at 30 minutes or less. As much as you want to get outside, if temperatures are that low, it’s best to stay indoors.

 

Dress appropriately and in layers

Wearing multiple layers can help keep body heat in. Your base layer should be an article of clothing that draws perspiration away from your body. Consider fabrics such as fleece for your mid-layer to help with insulation. Your outer layer will depend on the type of weather that day. If it’s raining or snowing, you’ll want something that’s waterproof. If they wind strong, you’ll want a windbreaker that will help shield you. Be sure to protect your extremities like your feet, hands, nose, and ears.

 

Quick warm-up exercise

Before you throw on all your cold gear, perform a quick 5-10 minute exercise. This can be jumping jacks, a quick run up and down the stairs, or anything aerobic that will get your blood pumping.

 

Keep extra warmth on you

Hand warmers and feet warmers can be a real lifesaver, especially if you’re outside for a long period. Buy in bulk and keep a set handy in your jacket pocket.

 

Protect your skin

Sunburn is still possible even in the winter time. If there’s snow on the ground, there’s a higher chance for sunburn because of the reflection. Apply sunscreen with at least 45 SPF to any exposed skin to protect yourself from sun damage. You should also wear sunglasses to protect your eyes as well. If the wind is strong that day, I suggest using vaseline on top of the SPF to add an extra layer of protection from windburn.