Outdoor activity during winter can be beneficial to health

Many students, of all ages, went to Hospital Hill after completing their school work for...
Many students, of all ages, went to Hospital Hill after completing their school work for non-traditional instruction days.(Jeanna Kleine-Kracht, WBKO)
Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 10:41 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CNN) - With colder temperatures officially here, experts say the winter can be good for both mental and physical health.

“It really decreases our happiness not to get outside,” Dr. Stephanie Walsh, Director of Child Wellness at Children’s Healthcare said.

Walsh said getting outdoors and braving the lower temperatures is crucial to your mental and physical health.

“Being outside, breathing fresh air, it really changes everything, particularly your mood,” she said.

Getting outdoors may also lower your risk of spreading germs, allowing you to keep your distance from others. Being active can also help super charge your immune system for up to 24 hours.

“We tend to think of it as adults as exercise and remember kids think of it as play, so reminding them go outside and play and have some fun,” Walsh said.

By doing so, the physical activity can also help with getting more sleep.

“The better sleep we get, the healthier we are, the more better we are to fight disease,” she said.

While bundling up is important, Walsh said to wear layers, trying to allow kids to choose their winter weather attire.

“If they’re cold, they’ll come back inside and put more clothes on, but if they’re hot, it’s OK for them to take their hat off,” Walsh said.

Also remember in the winter, you can’t catch a cold from the cold, it’s the result of coming into contact with a virus. It’s also important to continue to drink plenty of water, as dehydration can happen even when it’s cold out.

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