For some people, the winter season means cuddling up near the fireplace, enjoying hot cocoa, layering up in cozy clothes, and playing outside in the blanket of frost. But for others, winter means having to deal with frigid breezes, constantly defrosting the car, and being cooped up inside because of the cold. If you belong to the latter crowd, then you may not like winter all that much.
But what if you want to try your hand at winter sports? Surely, you can brave the cold for a chance to go backcountry heliskiing or snowboarding in the mountains? While the desire may be high, the familiar discomfort of winter may hold you back. For this reason, we’ve come up with some of the best ways on how you can enjoy winter sports even if you hate winter.
1. Invest in good quality clothes and footwear
The first thing you need to do is to find the right kind of clothes and footwear for the type of sport you’re planning to do. Regular winter clothes may not fare well when you’re zooming down a ski slope or tearing through a mountain on a snowboard. Instead, invest in clothes that are apt for winter sports, which are warmer, more wind-resistant, and generally more comfortable than regular winter clothes.
The same goes for footwear. Even if physical activity raises your body temperature, your feet still need proper protection against the frigid weather. Moreover, the type of shoes that you need to buy need to be durable enough for the winter sport you want to try. If you’re not sure which pair is the best, ask someone who plays the sport or do research on online forums.
2. Schedule your sports time
If you hate the winter, you probably won’t want to spend more time outside than necessary, except, of course, when you’re partaking in winter sports. That said, a great strategy is to schedule your sports time in the warmest parts of the day, and on limited time frames. In this way, you can enjoy winter sports without excessive exposure to the cold, which can easily turn your mood sour.
While you’re at it, find other things to do that don’t involve going outside. If you’re staying at a resort, you can look for other activities around, such as staying in the sauna, enjoying hot cocoa near the fireplace, or simply lounging around in the lobby.
3. Bring lots of food and water
Dealing with the cold is a lot easier when your body has the fuel to keep itself warm. When going outside, be it for winter sports or anything else, bring some snacks and plenty of water with you. Getting your fill of calories and water makes it easier for your body to warm up, which, in turn, makes braving the cold a lot less miserable.
However, avoid foods that are high in sugar, sodium, and fat, as these can make you sleepy rather than energized. Similarly, avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol to avoid dehydrating your body.
4. Don’t overdo it
You’ve waited for months to try this winter sport and you’ve spent a lot of money to try it, of course, you’d want to spend every waking minute of the day engaging in said sport. However, overdoing yourself will only do more harm than good. And if you don’t particularly like winter, spending an excessive amount of time on the sport can make you hate it instead of love it.
With that thought in mind, set boundaries for yourself and make sure you follow them. For instance, if you can only last a couple of hours outside, don’t push yourself any more than that. Inform your sports instructor that you can only withstand a certain amount of time in the cold. If you’re traveling with a group, make your boundaries known before you leave to set their expectations. You don’t have to overexert yourself just to enjoy–just do what you’re comfortable with and leave it at that.
5. Prepare your body
Just like other types of sports, winter sports require a certain level of physical fitness. So if you’ve spent the past few months living a sedentary lifestyle, it pays to get into an exercise routine to condition your body and make it readier to engage in winter sports.
Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling, and other types of winter sports provide an experience that you have to try at least once. But if you don’t like the winter season itself, these tips can help you enjoy winter sports without having to force yourself to like the cold.