In most winters, and especially after being trapped inside this year, we’re all craving a bit of outdoor adventure. The combo of working from home and exercising inside has gotten old. No joke, my gym is my kitchen floor.
There’s a mantra that you shouldn’t wait to feel good to act... and that on the contrary, if you act, you’ll feel good. Therefore, despite what has been a tough year with unpredictable weather this year, getting outside to exercise is a must for all our physical and mental health all around.
What if you don’t love being active unless it’s warm out? How should you take it on? Here are a few tips and ideas to inspire a jaunt outside, no matter the mercury.
How to get outside when it counts
1. Look differently at what the season has to offer.
Think about kids who grow up in Alaska, or Scandinavia, or anywhere else typically cold for most of the year. You don’t imagine them staying inside during the slushy spring, do you? After all, they’re kids. They don’t just stay in. And, neither do adults. Everyone gets outside.
The trick is to see winter and early spring as a special time with unique opportunities for fun. For example, there’s little I enjoy more than skating on a frozen pond. It’s like I’m gliding across the frozen surface of the earth; it makes me giggle every time.
2. Dress appropriately.
Winter is chilly, and moving into spring can be that awkward phase where you’re not sure how to dress. Despite the mantra, “there's no bad weather, only bad clothes”, if you're not warm and dry, it’s nearly impossible to have fun. The trick is to have the right gear. But, it gets complicated when you both want to be warm as you step out the door, and then stay comfortable as you begin to move. Did you know that serious cyclists often say if you aren’t cold for the first 10 minutes, you're overdressed? That doesn’t sound like fun. And, with a bunch of layers on, increasing your activity often means sweat.
The answer is to wear performance clothing: technical layers that wick moisture, and dry fast, so you never feel clammy in something like cotton. And, when you come inside and hang your layers to dry, they do so in a flash.
For me, the connection of all of this with our garments is on two fronts: 1) Because technical properties are built into everything we make, I am able to leap at an opportunity to move while wearing what I already have on. And 2) odor resistant features mean I can own fewer things (like this guy who took it to the test, wearing our performance tee for 5 days!)
Our deceptively technical 5-Pocket Ascender Chinos are quick-dry pants that wick moisture and stretch with your every move. I sometimes add a thin layer underneath to adventure in them, and there is nowhere I trust my phone more than our built-in phone pocket.
Our Threshold T-Shirt is the one I reach for everyday. It’s an ideal base layer (that went through a relentless R&D process) that doesn’t feel like a tech shirt, but acts like one thanks to a chemical free technology that dries much faster than cotton or wool. I work it as hard as any workout tee before literally hang it on my chin up bar to dry (also in my kitchen; yikes… before wearing again.)
3. Try to get out everyday.
The whole production of getting out there becomes easier when you do more often. A great covid addition to our lives has been the dog my son wanted for years. And when I look at Goose (he’s our dog) and explain to him we shouldn’t go for a run because it’s wet and chilly, he never seems to understand.
The more you get outside, the more it becomes a rhythm, and the whole calculation for what to wear becomes a puzzle solved with reference points. “I wore that when it was 30 degrees, so I’ll add another layer for today.”
In the end, it won't be that bad
Here’s the worst apparel moment I ever had: Once, while sea kayaking in Alaska, I woke up super early in a freezing cold tent, to get a jump on a very long paddle day. In the corner was my only option for clothes: a complete pile of three layers, in a leaking tent, all soaking wet.
It’s unlikely your adventure is going to be that bad. On the contrary, being outside in the cooler months means it will probably be quiet, peaceful, and beautiful like only this time of year can be. All in this moment when safe outdoor activities are worth their weight in gold.