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It’s funny to think that playing in the snow offers health benefits. Although it seems that way, there are a lot of fantastic health benefits of playing in the snow, so next time, don’t yell at the kids while they play in the snow, as long as there are adequately covered and protected.
The benefit is not only restricted to emotional benefits. There are also physical benefits you derive from such activity.
Here are some of the health benefits of playing in the snow and the precaution you observe, as playing on the snow unguided can be dangerous sometimes.
8 Health Benefits of Playing In The Snow
Here are some physical and emotional health benefits of playing in the snow.
1. Physical exercise
Snow activities such as snowball fights, sledging, skiing, snowboarding, and building snowmen require physical exertion. Engaging in these activities helps to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and enhance overall fitness.
The Harvard Medical School stated that physical exercise, such as cross-county skilling, helps burn about 600 calories. If you want to burn some calories, try snow skilling.
2. Vitamin D boost
Spending time outdoors in the sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D. This essential vitamin is vital for maintaining strong bones, boosting the immune system, and regulating mood. Always staying indoors during winter makes you miss out on the natural Vitamin D boost. Wear warm clothing and go outside to take some Vitamin D.
3. Fresh air and oxygenation
One of the health benefits of playing in the snow is that being outside in the snow exposes you to fresh, crisp air. This can improve your lung function, increase oxygen intake, and provide a refreshing change from indoor environments.
4. Stress reduction
Playing in the snow can be a fun experience, which can help reduce stress levels. Physical activity, coupled with the beauty of the winter landscape, can promote relaxation, improve mood, and alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression.
5. Enhanced balance and coordination
Snow activities often involve balance and coordination, especially winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Regularly engaging in these activities can improve your balance and coordination skills.
6. Increased social interaction
Snowy conditions often bring people together for shared activities and play. This social interaction can help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness, boosting your emotional and mental well-being.
7. Mental stimulation
Playing in the snow stimulates the senses as you experience the cold, the sound of crunching snow, and the sight of a winter wonderland. This sensory stimulation can provide a mental break from routine and improve cognitive function.
8. Immune system boost
Cold exposure, within reason, can positively affect the immune system. Brief exposure to cold temperatures while playing in the snow can help stimulate the production of white blood cells, which play a crucial role in fighting infections.
While playing in the snow offers various health benefits, taking precautions to stay safe and prevent cold-related injuries, such as frostbite or hypothermia, is essential. Here are some precautions you should observe when playing out in the snow.
Precautions to Observe When Playing Out in the Snow
- Dress appropriately: Wear several layers of warm clothing to protect yourself from the cold. Choose moisture-wicking and insulating materials for your inner layers, a waterproof and windproof outer layer, a hat, gloves or mittens, warm socks, and insulated boots. Don’t forget to cover your ears and protect your face with a scarf or a mask.
- Stay hydrated: Even though you may not feel as thirsty in cold weather, staying hydrated is essential. Dehydration can still occur in winter, so drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your time in the snow. Opt for warm beverages like herbal tea or hot water to keep you warm and hydrated.
- Practice cold weather safety: Be aware of the temperature and wind chill factor before heading outside. Extremely low temperatures and high wind speeds can increase the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Limit your time outdoors in severe weather conditions, and if you start feeling excessively cold, numb, or fatigued, seek shelter and warmth immediately.
- Be cautious of icy conditions: Watch for icy patches or slippery surfaces while walking or playing in the snow. Use appropriate footwear with good traction, and be careful when climbing or descending slopes to avoid falls and injuries.
- Stay within designated areas: If you’re participating in winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, stay within designated slopes or trails. Follow the safety guidelines and instructions provided by the venue or experienced individuals to minimise the risk of accidents.
- Stay connected: If you’re heading out alone or to an unfamiliar area, inform someone about your plans and expected return time. Carry a fully charged cell phone with you for emergencies.
By observing these precautions, you can enjoy your health benefits while playing in the snow, minimise the risk of cold-related injuries and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.