Enjoying nature during winter

29 December, 2014

Most people avoid going outdoors during winter, save for a few ski or sledding trips. The cold weather can be difficult to endure for long periods of time, but remaining cooped up for the whole season isn’t healthy either. In fact, you need vitamin D, which comes from the sun. It boosts the immune system and maintains strong bones, as the vitamin aids your body’s absorption of calcium. What’s more, sunlight is the most effective source of vitamin D. Fortunately, you can find ways to enjoy views of nature and soak up some rays this winter. Here are a few tips for getting your daily dose of the outdoors:

Make yard space
While you may not want to spend all afternoon lounging in a snowy yard, getting outdoors for a few minutes to soak up the sun can do you a world of good in winter. Create a little getaway in your backyard you can use when the sun comes out. For instance, you can keep your patio clear of snow and bring outdoor lounge chairs to the spot. These furniture pieces fold up so you can store them indoors and away from the chilly weather when not in use, and then pull out to enjoy the outdoors. 

Decorate the area with potted winter plants, like poinsettias, to add color to your backyard hangout. Wreaths and garland also provide a sense of life to an otherwise barren environment.

Fire up
If you have an outdoor fireplace, you should definitely make use of it this season. Get the fire going, then pull out a few chairs. Grab blankets and snuggle up before the flames. Doing so will let you enjoy the crisp and surprisingly refreshing winter air while staying warm. If your fireplace is located in a covered deck, you may leave your outdoor sectionals in place. That way, you have comfortable seating when you want to be outside. Just bring in your people and start the fun.

However, if you do not have an outdoor fireplace, you can avail benefit of the latest by getting a gas fireplace installed. They tend to provide high heat efficiencies at a comparatively low running cost. And you would also not be worried about any power disruption during your next garden party.

Create a winter wonderland
Wouldn’t you be more tempted to spend time outside if your yard looked like Narnia? Consider decorating your space with string lights, votives, etc., to give it that magical touch. The trees in your yard can carry oversized ornaments while your walkways can be lined with potted plants. Add some outdoor seating and you’ll be clamoring to explore your yard.

Keep outdoor gear at hand
If you have to dig for snowshoes, skis or sleds, you’ll be less likely to use them. Pull them out before winter weather arrives so you can quickly grab your gear when the mood takes you. You don’t have to head to a ski slope to have fun this winter – the backyard can be a haven. Hike around your house wearing snowshoes, or build a snowman.

Bring plants indoors
Sometimes, you just can’t get outside. Whether a snowstorm keeps you homebound or the cold is too hazardous, you can still be among nature indoors. Just keep some plants in your house. Calla lilies and Christmas cactus bloom this time of year, so they’ll add some color to your home. Plus, plants help purify the air in the house.