Most people think hygge is about being cozy indoors, actually it’s much more than that! It encourages self sufficiency and athletic pursuits so today I’m sharing 4 ways to hygge outdoors.
With direct Swedish ancestry, we are fascinated by the Nordic culture and try to practice hygge whenever possible. Nordic folks believe that to exercise and be outdoors is to live life to it’s fullest. We agree! It’s important for us all to be active and spend time outdoors year round.
1. Get outdoors
I try to walk or hike almost every day whatever the weather. If I’m visiting a city, I make compromises. For example I might take a yoga class at a local studio or walk around the city for exercise. Walking is a wonderful time to socialize so ask a friend to join you! Just 20 minutes of outdoor activity per day can make such a difference in your mood.
2. Do what makes you happy
Skiing is a popular sport, particularly in the Nordic region. Here in the states we enjoy cross country skiing, snow shoeing, snow boarding, and down hill skiing. These sports vary in level of intensity so if there is a need to slow down or reduce impact, you can easily modify your workout. Last year we tried snow shoeing for the first time and had so much fun. If you can walk, you can snowshoe! I recommend renting equipment a day ahead of time and opening the “All Trails” app on your phone to locate your trail options. Hygge isn’t about thrill seeking, or pushing yourself to your limits rather it’s about doing what truly makes you happy. Some downhill skiers insist that speed and thrill is what it’s all about and anything else is boring. I don’t judge anyone for wanting to fly down the mountain with skis or snowboard. To each their own.
3. No excuses
The pacific northwest weather can be tricky. Living in the foot hills, we sometimes get snow with lots of ice. The cold and darkness of the winter months can also be a challenge and an create a feeling of winter blues and wanting to do nothing. Hibernating is not a bad thing but it’s also important to get outside. If you’ve had a long sedentary period, take baby steps as you begin to exercise again. Even the smallest change in your routine can make a difference. I like to layer up in my favorite winter gear and head out regardless of the weather situation. Sometimes I feel like I’m heading out in the dark and that it’s going to be terribly cold and wet. I can’t tell you how many times that once I’m out, it’s incredibly peaceful and the weather is fine. Also if it helps to add an incentive, go for it! I always look forward my favorite cup of coffee or tea after an outdoor activity.
4. Be Prepared for the outdoors
Proper gear, year round is important.
Here is my list:
- Layer with a light sweat shirt and then add a vest. Both go under my rain jacket or winter parka. Northface makes good quality all-weather clothes that also wash well.
- Water resistant or warm pants. I will occasionally wear shorts when I’m hiking in the summertime but watch you legs! I’ve accidentally brushed up against poison oak or stinging nettles and it isn’t fun.
- Accessories: Hat, gloves, and hand warmers are also basic items to have on hand.
- Bring your cell phone, water, and a snack.
In case you missed it, click here to read our blog post on how we practice hygge at home!