Winter is here, and for many of us, that means colder temperatures, darker days, and more time trapped inside. According to a CBS News poll, only 1 in 10 Americans claims winter as their favorite season. But with the right attitude, strategies, and gear, winter can be just as enjoyable and exciting as the warmer months. We asked our winter-weather experts – Maxim employees who live in some of the coldest parts of the country – to share their best tips for how to have a fun winter.

What is your best piece of advice for enjoying winter?

“Be sure to get outside on nice days. Whenever there is a clear day, take advantage of it and try out new hobbies.” – Laura Corbett, business development manager in Anchorage, Alaska

couple enjoys time on the mountain in the winter
Jesse Lidgey and his spouse, Heather, enjoy frequent hikes in Portland, Maine. 

“It’s easy to make plans to be active outside in the winter and wake up in the morning only to crawl right back into bed once you see the frozen landscape out your window. The more preparation you can complete the day before, the more likely you’ll actually get out and do what you’ve planned to do. When my spouse and I plan a winter hike, we get our packs, clothes, food and other gear organized in advance, which makes for a much quicker and easier morning. We’re also more invested at that point because of the time we put into preparing.” – Jesse Lidgey, operations manager in Portland, Maine

“Hand-warmers and foot-warmers are an absolute life saver. Other than that, the only real trick is to always pack an extra layer, no matter what.” – Matt Morrow, recruiter in Chicago

“Invest in a good pair of boots and go explore everything your area has to offer.” – Danielle Armbruster, operations manager in Madison, Wisconsin.

What are your favorite outdoor winter activities?

“There are so many activities to do during the winter in Michigan, from sledding to cozying up by a fire and watching Christmas movies. Some of the most popular winter sports in my area are skiing, hopping on snowmobiles and ice skating.” – Equaysha Green, senior recruiter in Flint, Michigan

“In Chicago, the number of dedicated runners and bikers that I see in sub-freezing temperatures is shocking. Another fun outdoor activity in the winter is ice skating, and sledding is a popular activity in the suburbs, where there are more hills.” – Matt

“Alaska has a ton of outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, fat-tire biking and skating.” – Laura

man and woman enjoy a night in flint
Equaysha Green and her husband, Koran, enjoy a night out in Flint, Michigan. 

What is your top tip for staying warm in the winter?

“It’s all about layering and dressing smart. If you’re doing something active, avoid cotton and opt for a synthetic material like polyester, which repels moisture. From there, you want a mid-weight insulating layer followed by a water/windproof shell. If it’s really cold, throw on your heavy down or synthetic down jacket which will keep you toasty.” – Jesse

“Big coats, layering up and winter boots are a necessity.” – Equaysha

“The thickest pair of gloves you can find, a thick winter coat and a waterproof coat.” – Matt

How do you stay mentally healthy during the colder, darker months?

“Seasonal depression is real. Michigan is cold and dark most of the year which can take a toll on our physical and mental health. Personally, I will be using this winter to invest in myself. Reading more, sleeping more, and exercising.” – Equaysha

“A large majority of Chicago residents live in an apartment or condo setting, where taking the stairs is an option. Finding small ways like this to still get physical activity are key for all aspects of health. Even running all the way up and walking back down repeatedly for a set period of time can be exhausting. Reading or pursuing a hobby are both healthy options to consider when the weather leads to more time spent indoors.” – Matt

“Exercise and getting eight to 10 hours per night of quality sleep is extremely important.” – Danielle

“Everyone is different in terms of what they need to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit through these months. That could mean curling up by a fire with a good book or getting out the snowshoes for a walk in your backyard after a fresh snow. I think it’s important for people to have the gusto to try new things from time to time but also to focus on what makes them happy.” – Jesse

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