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Spending time outside in the frigid temperatures of winter may not be something you day dream about while sitting in the comforts of your home, but it is something that is necessary in order to live our best lives. There is a sense of enchantment that comes with the falling snow and the white coated trees that can only be seen in some parts of the country during the winter months. Learning how to enjoy being active during every season in Western New York has positive mental and physical effects. Being in nature offers momentary stress relief, mood enhancement, and a literal breath of fresh air from being inside stale-aired buildings all day. The team at #ProjectBestLife had the opportunity to talk with some of the experts in the field of outdoor activities to answer all your questions on how to maintain motivation during even the gloomiest of winter months.
Fleet Feet first opened its doors in 1976 in Sacramento, California, and has worked to gear up runners in a multitude of cities by expanding to more than 180 stores in communities across the country. Ellen Brenner, owner of Fleet Feet Buffalo, was able to offer some advice for runners, or walkers this winter season.
“By the use of our 3D scanner, we are able to show the customer what their foot is like and how it functions in order to select footwear that is gonna be most appropriate for that individual. ” Brenner added, “Aside from just the shoe, we do encourage traction devices, and wool socks to keep the feet as warm as possible.”
Apart from the products offered here, there are also a number of services offered to the community, including workout classes and training programs to help encourage people to stay moving. “Our program, which is held virtually, caters to all kinds of individuals,” Brenner explains, “ from the beginner runner to the lifelong runner looking to train for the next half marathon. We bring all of them together as a group so that they are all training together as one, each getting their own specific program, and we host weekly workouts with them.” These programs help foster a sense of community and togetherness that helps sustain inspiration.
Brenner emphasized how activities even in the winter are vital to our mental well-being. “When you go outside, your body is healing itself emotionally with the production of serotonin and endorphins. By stepping out of your own everyday, sometimes stressful situations, and diverting attention elsewhere, you momentarily can leave everything that’s going on and do something for you.”
Location: 2290 Delaware Ave Unit 400, Buffalo, NY 14216
Phone: (716) 332-3501
For those willing to live life in the fast lane, winter sports are a great way to get your body moving. From snowboarding to skiing, lodges around the area offer a multitude of services that are perfect for just about anyone. Andy Minier, director of the racing program at Kissing Bridge, was able to shed some light on getting outside this season.
“I think the best decision anyone could make is to actually start doing winter activities,” Minier stressed,” This is a great season to start doing it because it’s one thing that is healthy and active. If you are outdoors obeying COVID guidelines, you’re pretty safe to pursue it. Winter is coming anyways, so we might as well enjoy it.”
For many, skiing or snowboarding can seem scary, but Minier states, “If this is something new for you, start slow. Try snowshoeing in an area that is flat and well groomed and has pleasant scenery.” He adds,”If you are gonna get started in a sport like snowboarding or skiing, find a good instructor that is experienced and can offer good equipment, and begin your journey into what could be a lifetime sport with a positive experience.”
With 2020 keeping us mostly inside, this is a great time to explore the peacefulness of the outdoors. “If you are trapped inside in the dark, not getting any sunlight, just waiting for spring to return, that’s a long haul!” Minier exclaimed, “ But if you’re looking outside and seeing the snow fall saying ‘sweet, skiing will be great tomorrow’ then you can go to bed happy because you have visions of powder, pine trees, and a beautiful afternoon in your head. Being able to safely come out to the ski resort after spending all day online for school or work is one thing people can look forward to.”
Location: 10296 State Rd, Glenwood, NY 14069
Phone: (716) 592-4963
Spending time outdoors doing winter activities is just one component to living our best lives. For more tips and inspiration to help live a healthy, happy and balanced life to the fullest, subscribe to the Project Best Life newsletter.
In tough times, our efforts to maintain fitness, healthy nutrition, and personal wellness can fall by the wayside as we direct all our energy into navigating our individual storm. Yet, in the face of what’s happening in the world around us, it is essential to make space for self-care and experiences that fortify our physical and mental wellbeing.
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Trying to manage a proper work-life balance, saving for your future while paying all your bills, all while keeping strong relationships with friends and family… We know that life can get pretty stressful, and it’s easy to forget what’s best for your health both physically and mentally. Project Best Life is here to help with our podcast: Happy and Healthy. We provide tips from experts and share stories that will inspire you to live your best life, whatever that means to you. Listen now on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google