Though many of us are tempted to stay inside curled up on the couch with hot cocoa during the cold winter weather, there are health benefits to bundling up and heading outside for a long walk instead.

Sunlight for strong bones
Vitamin D is an important part of keeping bones strong, and not getting outside means decreased production in our bodies. Sun exposure triggers vitamin D production in the skin, and bones need vitamin D to make the body absorb bone-strengthening calcium properly. So be sure to take advantage of every sunny winter day and go for a walk.

Boost your mood
The winter blues are all too common when the days are shorter, the weather is colder and we feel compelled to stay inside. Exercise helps counter this mild depression, releasing endorphins that help to boost your mood. Even short walks can make a difference.

Burn extra calories
For most of us, walking is the easiest way to burn a few extra calories during busy times. Walking in the cold helps you burn more calories as the body has to work harder to maintain your core temperature. Schedule a short walk as part of your routine over the holidays. Make it a social event and take a family walk after a meal. If you keep up a moderate walking pace, expect to burn 250-300 calories hourly.

Bundle up and get outdoors for a brisk walk. It will help you burn off those extra calories, reduce stress and leave you feeling refreshed!

Happy Holidays from Walkingspree!