While Vermonters are generally known for being hearty, it’s also true that some of us tend to hunker down inside once the thermometer dips and stay there for the duration of winter, missing out on the healthy opportunities afforded by sunshine and movement in the fresh air.

Fortunately, there’s a remedy for that, found in a wise saying that’s attributed to the Norwegians, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” When the weather outside is frightful, the staff of Northwestern Medical Center’s Lifestyle Medicine Department has your back – and your front and all your other cold parts, too! Here are some suggestions from them to help you get the jump on cabin fever this winter by escaping to the great outdoors:

“I’m able to stay active in the wintertime by utilizing my local gym, New Beginnings Fitness, on a regular basis. If I am going to be outside, I wear lots of layers and pack my snowshoes or bring my dogs for a walk-they keep me moving at a fast pace!”

Chasidy B.

“It’s important to use multiple layers (usually three), especially with physical activities like running or cross-county skiing. The first layer or inside layer should be thin and breathable material so that your skin stays dry, particularly if you sweat a lot, as any moisture becomes trapped, making you feel damp and cold. These could be materials like Thinsulate or Merino wool. The middle (second) layer provides the insulation and is usually looser and thicker material, like wool or fleece. The outside (third) layer is the one exposed to the elements and needs to protect from wind, snow and even rain. It should consist of nylon or wool and be water-resistant/waterproof, although if you are simply outside and not moving, a warm jacket with synthetic insulation will work if you do not want to use Down material.”

Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine

“Ice fishing is a fun winter activity that we do as a family to beat the winter blues. We love the anticipation of waiting for a flag to pop up and then running to see what may be waiting on the other end of the line. Staying warm is a priority, which means bringing plenty of extra clothes and hand warmers to keep hands and feet warm and dry.”

Danielle P.

“The yearly battle of “cold feet” has been solved. Whether you’re standing, walking, playing, working or looking for adventure in the cold and snow please let me tell you about the NEOS Overshoes product. I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I’ve stood in freezing cold ice arenas while working as a Certified Athletic Trainer. Of course, movement helps but sometimes you simply need to remain stationary and thus the cold will settle in. I’ve tried different boots, multiple layers of socks both wool and synthetics as well as foot warmers. Then finally, a coworker mentioned that I should try a pair of NEOS Overshoes (think galoshes that come up to your calf or higher). It has the appearance of an expedition boot but it’s much lighter. You leave your indoor sneakers, shoes or slippers (with good arch support) ON and step into the boot, seal it with a durable Velcro flap and secure with only one strap. “Presto…No change- O”. Now you have a double inner sole that the cold must penetrate.”

John B.

“My lifesaver for keeping my head warm is called a Cora Hood (for women) or Burke Hood (for men). It’s a big hood that covers your head, face, neck. You can also use it over a helmet if skiing or snowboarding. Or you can even use if you’re not using a helmet and outside in the cold.”

Leslie G.

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