It’s getting cold and the days are getting shorter. The temptation to rug up and remain indoors is growing, while motivation for stepping outside is dwindling. Ironically, it’s also that time of the year when we're craving comfy food — not the healthiest mix of circumstances!
But winter is a fantastic time to go outside for a walk. In fact, winter is probably the best time to start a walking routine if you don’t already have one. Because if you manage to survive your winter walks then walking during the other seasons will become a walk in the park (pun intended).
Local parks and nature reserves also tend to be less crowded during the colder months. There's also the freedom to head outside at any time of the day because the sun doesn't feel as harsh and hot as in the warmer months.
And given the mental health benefits of being in nature, walking can be the perfect way to beat the winter blues!
The trick is to dress comfortably. Wear multiple layers so that you are warm when you step outside but have the option of peeling off some layers as your body heats up. Beanies are your best friends in winter. Waterproof jackets and walking shoes with a good grip will also keep you going - rain or shine.
Once you’re dressed for the occasion, step outside and be ready to engage your senses. Simply start paying attention to the beautiful world around you. What do you see?
We often visualise bare trees during winter. But if you’ve got Australian native trees around you, you’re likely to be surrounded by amazing colours. Because a lot of the Australian natives actually flower in winter.
There's also beauty in those bare trees through. The tree structure and shape become more apparent when all leaves have dropped. Take the time to admire the colours and textures of those tree barks.
Reflections in water
On a still day, look out for reflections in lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds, puddles etc. You'll see a painting in there.
Throw a stone and observe the ripples form in the water. Or on a windy day, watch the gentle waves follow each other to the end.
Mist and fog
Fog and mist are my favourite things to see in winter. They make a place look so mystical and magical.
You'll normally have to head out early for this one though. Remember, early bird gets the worm!
This goes for any season — keep an eye out for wildlife. Winter is a good time for sighting mammals that would normally be hiding in the warmer months.
Also notice the different species and behaviours of birds around you. They can be pretty amusing to watch.
Welcome to spring!
Before you know it, you’ll start seeing signs of spring.
From birds preparing their nests to tiny blossoms emerging on bare trees — notice the energy and excitement bubbling inside of you. And suddenly, motivation for your regular nature walks comes swifly.