There are many benefits for families spending time outdoors, and especially in autumn and winter. At any time of the year, outdoors play and adventure are great for fitness, learning, socialising and improved family communication.
But in autumn and winter, when days are shorter and often darker, spending time outdoors is vital for the production of Vitamin D in the body. This vitamin is actually a hormone, made naturally by the body from fat under the skin in response to sunlight. And Vitamin D is important for all kinds of reasons, including healthy bones and hearts and combatting depression.
But, of course, in autumn and winter, sunlight is in limited supply so spending time outdoors is vital for maintaining healthy bodies and minds. Health experts believe that 20 minutes of outdoors activity each day could be all it takes, although the more time you’re enjoying yourself outdoors the better.
How to enjoy the outdoors in winter
Looking out of the window at cold, dark or wet weather isn’t exactly enticing is it? But if you’re dressed for warmth and waterproofness it will seem so more attractive. It’s how you dress, and what you choose to wear, that could make all the difference to your fun and good health this winter.
Top tips for staying warm outdoors
Layer it up: Several thinner layers, rather than one thicker layer, will keep you warmer. This is because body heat is trapped between each layer and if there are several layers the body heat has a better chance of being contained and maintained. Also, if you have lots of thinner layers you can add and take off according to how warm you feel.
Wick away: Look for base layers that allow sweat to evaporate. To explain, when you exercise your body sweats but if you wear clothing made from fabrics such as cotton the sweat will be absorbed by the fabric and you will then end up with a wet and cold t-shirt against the skin. If you wear layers that allow the sweat to exit by evaporation you will avoid becoming wet and damp. It’s a simple as that!
Dry on the outside: A good quality waterproof jacket, as well as waterproof overtrousers, will keep the rain out. Wear a jacket and trousers over your winter warmer layers. Look for jackets that have integrated hoods and also boast breathable qualities (if the fabric is breathable it will allow sweat to evaporate, just like the wick-away baselayers.)
Check out the Regatta women’s waterproof and breathable Calderdale jacket
Best feet forward: In winter, it’s important to choose walking boots that keep your feet warm and dry. Look for waterproof qualities. Winter walking boots should also have improved grip on the outer soles for keeping you upright on wet and muddy trails and hills.
Check our Regatta Lady Mountrock Winter Boots
Accessorise: Don’t forget hands, feet, heads and necks when it comes to staying warm and comfortable. We lose a surprising amount of heat through our heads and few people enjoy cold hands and feet, or wind whistling around their neck.
Regatta has a great three-for-two offer at the moment, so you could pick up some outdoor clothing bargains as we head into the chillier months.