Winter Adventures in the 815
The arrested development of autumn in the 815 provided warmer-than-average temperatures for October and November. With the season seeming more like an extended summer, it would be easy to forget that the warm weather eventually gives way to the invigorating cold of winter. Cabin fever, cabin schmever . . . embrace the change of seasons and see for yourself how much fun you can have outdoors in the winter!
We are lucky that the 815 has great open spaces, trail systems, forest preserves, and winter amenities to help you create memorable experiences for you and your family, all while promoting an active, healthy lifestyle. Not only will you have fun enjoying the outdoors in the winter, but you will be making a positive impact on you, your family, and friends by encouraging them to Gear Up and Head Out.
Outdoor recreation touches on all aspects of health and can enhance not only your physical health, but also your emotional well-being. Just being outdoors, for example, has been shown to confer health benefits. Here are some of the benefits you can realize from outdoor recreation:
Regular outdoor activity provides a number of physical health benefits. Research has shown that regular physical activity can lower blood pressure, reduce arthritis pain, and contribute to weight loss. It also contributes to a lowered risk of diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Outdoor recreation offers the chance to socialize, which has an important benefit to our mental health. Investing your time in public recreation areas can also increase pride in the community and offers the opportunity to meet others in your community with similar interests.
Both physical activity and outdoor settings can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Research has also shown that increased access to green space for activities such as walking decreases stress in adults and in children. With all of our technology making it easier to get things done without moving, it’s never been more important to get kids (and adults) playing outside!
Research has also shown that outdoor activities can lead to increased confidence, improved creativity, and better self-esteem. Natural settings rejuvenate and calm the mind, and improve our outlook on life.
Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat-tire biking, snowboarding, sledding, and hiking opportunities abound in the winter, all easily accessible “daycation” activities right here in the 815. Not only can you have fun outdoors in the winter, but you can also have a positive impact on your well-being. So break out of that cabin fever. Gear Up. Head Out!