How the Extreme Cold is Good for the Heart, Soul, and Mind

It’s winter, but winter on the Front Range in Colorado never truly feels like winter. You see, we’re spoiled here. It snows, but usually melts the next day. Ice doesn’t stay around long (ice storms are virtually unheard of here). The winter temperatures hover in the 40s usually.

This week it’s been cold — bitter cold. Negative degree temperatures at night. Single degree temperatures in the day.

So cold that picking up my CrossFit barbell in my insulated garage (useless in this cold of weather) gives me shudders. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to do anything. I just want to stay home with a cup of coffee (still waiting for Starbucks to figure out delivery), a cat on my lap, and a book in my hand.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM THE EXTREME COLD

  • The extreme cold prevents me from going over and above my normal exercise routine. I can’t go for an afternoon jog. Going to a HIIT workout class at night is out of the question. Spending prolonged periods in my garage is out of the question.
  • My life revolves around outdoor activities. Sitting around on a Friday night, asking the kids what they want to do this weekend, has led me to this conclusion. Everything I came up with (bike rides, hikes, swimming, visiting cool places) involved sunny weather. I like being outdoors, enjoying nature, and exploring. The extreme cold prevents all of this.Image result for icicles

BENEFITS OF THE EXTREME COLD

  • I spend less money. Not leaving my home (despite the ubiquitous internet) means I spend less money.
  • I get valuable rest time I need. I am always at risk of overtraining since I find it hard to limit myself when it comes to exercising and CrossFit. Having a cold garage and icy roads keeps me from exercising. And I also get to sleep in, which I desperately need since I never get enough sleep.
  • I spend more time with my kids, hanging out doing nothing. This cannot be overemphasized, especially if you have teenagers. Getting them to talk about their days, their feelings, and their social interactions can be tough, but when you’re stuck at home on an ice, cold day, playing UNO or coloring, the conversations flows.
  • I have time to reflect. Most of our lives are pretty busy. Running kids around, work, play, exercise, and social functions in addition to household jobs such as cleaning, cooking, and sleeping, take up most of our days. When I’m not on-the-go, I can reflect more on where I’m heading in this world and where I want to go — and pivot if I need to.
  • I read more. This is probably a no-brainer but worth mentioning. When you’re stuck at home, more books that have been lying around the house get read.

As much as the extreme cold temperatures suck, take advantage of the downtime. Do those projects you’ve been meaning to do around the house. Spend time with your kids. Watch a movie together on Netflix or Amazon Prime. And rest up. Cause soon enough it will be go time once again!

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