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8 ways to beat the winter blues (am & pm activity ideas)

ways to beat the winter blues

Struggling with the winter blues? You’re not alone; many people experience a mood shift as the days grow darker and colder. Feeling temporarily bummed out or lethargic could be your body’s way of telling you to slow down and take care of yourself during this seasonal change. 

However, it’s not healthy to rest all the time; your body needs exercise to maintain physical and mental health. The problem is that many of the outdoor physical activities that people rely on during the warmer months become inaccessible during winter because of the cold. So what can you do? 

A lot, actually. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, there are still plenty of sports and recreational opportunities available to you during winter — especially in Philadelphia. Keep reading to learn eight ways to beat the winter blues and maintain physical and mental health in the coldest months of the year. 

At eseo, we know that regardless of the season, athletes need to be able to get out and play. That’s why we’re committed to providing you with the best sports resources and opportunities in Philadelphia year-round. 

1. Take a Sunrise Hike (with Snowshoes!)

Did you know that spending time in nature can actually improve your mental health? Research shows that getting outside can lower stress levels, as well as provide cognitive benefits like improved memory and attention span. Spending time outdoors is also a great opportunity to improve physical fitness through activities like hiking. 

If you enjoy hiking when it’s warm but have never tried it during winter, consider bundling up, buying a pair of snowshoes and starting your day with an inspiring sunrise hike. With the trees bare and the pests gone, you’ll see a different side of Pennsylvania's wildlife, as well as a shimmering, magical side of winter. Philadelphia has numerous parks and nature areas, but we recommend starting at breathtaking Wissahickon Valley Park

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2. Make a Standing Gym Date with Your Bestie

A real bestie is one that will support your health goals and growth. If you’re struggling with the winter blues, ask a friend to make a weekly gym date with you. Not only will this help you get moving, but it will also give you the chance to talk with someone you care about and who cares about you. Join a fitness club or check out the gyms at one of Philadelphia’s rec centers.

3. Warm Up in a Heated Pool

In the winter, nothing feels better than stepping into a hot bath; swimming in a heated pool gets close, though. And unlike baths, swimming pools give you the opportunity to get a challenging workout, tone muscles and stretch your whole body. 

Think you could benefit from swimming regularly this winter? If so, you’re in luck: Philadelphia has a ton of indoor swimming opportunities. Join a gym with a heated pool, check out one of Philadelphia’s public indoor pools or find a club like the Philadelphia Kroc Center to get started. 

4. Join an Evening Dance Class

Dancing can be a physical expression of joy, a highly creative athletic endeavor and an excellent way to get exercise. The best part? It doesn’t really matter what type of dance you’re into — almost all dance styles can be a great cardio workout. 

Interested in joining a dance class? If you live in Philadelphia, you’ve got a ton of options. Check out Philly Dance Fitness for adult and child dance classes in a variety of styles, including tap, zumba, hiphop, pointe, bollywood, cardio pop and more. 

5. Unwind in the Sauna

Physical health isn’t just about physical wellness; it’s about relaxing, too. Sitting in a sauna is an enjoyable way to get both. Not only can saunas reduce stress levels and ease physical pain, but they may also provide some cardiovascular benefits. Here are some of the best Philadelphia saunas to visit: 

6. Improve Your Flexibility with Yoga

Yoga may be rooted in a spiritual practice, but anyone can benefit from it, regardless of spirituality. Almost anyone can do yoga in some capacity because the poses range from very easy to very difficult. Not only can yoga greatly improve flexibility, but it can also help you build muscle and core strength. Additionally, yoga is something that can be practiced anywhere: in a Philadelphia yoga studio like The Yoga Garden, online with a virtual class or alone in your living room. 

7. Learn Martial Arts

If you’ve ever fantasized about learning martial arts, you might be surprised at how easy it is to get started, especially in Philadelphia. No matter what type of martial arts you’re interested in, Philly probably has a dojo for it. Here are some of the top Philly martial arts spaces: 

8. Play a Winter Sport

Here’s the thing: if the only sport you want to play is sand volleyball, it’s going to be a rough winter. Luckily, most athletes don’t love one sport exclusively; they enjoy many physical activities that give them a chance to get moving. 

Although you may not find a winter sport you enjoy as much as warm-weather activities, winter does offer some unique sports opportunities that are worth trying. After the next big snow, try snow tubing or sledding at Belmont Plateau at Fairmount Park or ice-skating at Blue Cross RiverRink during Winter Fest. You can also get adventurous and try your hand at curling with the Philadelphia Curling Club

Need more ideas? eseo’s got you covered. Visit us online for more Philly sports resources and opportunities to beat the winter blues. 

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ways to beat the winter blues