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Wellness

4 Reasons To Take Nature Walks With Friends This Winter

Winter break this year was weird. Time that is normally spent catching up with family and friends became a few weeks of absolutely nothing. All fall, things were strange being online, but at least we were busy. However, over winter break, I found a way to fill my time that was very untypical for me. 

For me, the holiday season is my favorite, because I’m very close with my family. I’m used to spending break watching movies with my cousins in my grandparents’ house every weekend. This year though, we had to be more creative when it came to catching up. Despite the winter cold, my cousins and I decided to take nature walks a couple of times a week, and it was amazing. Here are four reasons why nature walks with your friends and family are the best way to have some socially distanced time.

Covid-Safe Catching Up

As I said before, family is really important to me, and I spend a whole lot of time with my cousins. Therefore, a winter break with no holiday gatherings left me really missing them. I know I am not the only one missing loved ones these days, and with Covid-19, it is hard to find ways to gather safely. However, winter walks are a great way to socialize while remaining distanced outdoors, following all gathering limits, and being Covid safe. For me, these hour-long walks catching up with my loved ones were so much better than a phone call, because you get to see friends or family face-to-face while still being safe.

A New Adventure

If you’re anything like me, walking in the woods in the cold for an hour does not seem like the ideal way to spend an afternoon. However, with desperate times calling for desperate measures, I found myself spending a lot of time exploring the nearby nature reserve on my walks. Honestly, this new adventure often brought me amazing feelings of accomplishment. It is hard to reach out and try new things, but for me, spending this time doing something I normally never would helped remind me how much I enjoy trying new things. It gave me a newfound love for a bit of adventure. Getting lost in the woods with my cousins, something I would’ve never willingly chosen to do, quickly became one of my favorite new activities.

A Good Way to Stay Active

Another major benefit of these winter walks is that they kept me active during the holiday season. With there being no reason to go out and a surplus of holiday treats in the house, it was pretty easy to become sluggish over break. However, winter walks were a great way for me to get up and get my steps in. These walks can be as simple or as difficult as you want. However, I found myself climbing up rocks in the woods and using muscles I haven’t used in forever. They were a good way to switch up my workout and get some much needed exercise in, while having a lot of fun.

Mental Health

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, these walks were really good for my mental health. Over break, I found myself spending most of my time in the same room with nothing to do. It often left me feeling rather down and bored. However, these little walks worked wonders for my mental health. They provided something to get up and get dressed for, a way to see some other people, and overall just a much needed change of scenery. They also provided me some time in nature, which was so refreshing. These walks of just an hour or so helped me to clear my mind and improve my mental health quite a bit.

Overall, winter can be long and cold, and with Covid-19 keeping us away from the things we usually do for fun, it is important to seek out new ways to enjoy ourselves. Winter walks are one amazing way to catch up with friends, try something new, and improve your physical and mental health!

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Monica is a Junior at Boston University studying English Education.
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