Staying Active When It’s Cold

I love Maine: it is gorgeous in spring and summer and the outdoors beckon you to come and explore. Scenic trails abound with fabulous views to enjoy and photograph. Be sure to check out my Instagram account. I won’t have to convince you as you will see it all for yourself. However, when winter comes, the cold air is a huge deterrent. Visitors no longer arrive. We are used to it and wait for the first snow with anticipation. We love the white sprinkles on the leaves and strewn about the ground. Recreational possibilities are endless. You can stay active when it is even freezing outside, as it often is, but you may not be able to bicycle or hike.

I watch a lot of sports on TV and am particularly fond of basketball. The NCAA is a must. I get glued to the set. It is fun to invite friends and family for the playoffs. We enjoy beer, wine, and snacks. There are bowls of popcorn and pretzels everywhere. One day I started thinking about joining a local team or starting my own. We could play all year round if we found an available gym, but it is not always possible. Community events and youth programs dominate the calendar. On certain mild days, we can play outside. Most nearby parks have courts. In winter, they aren’t much in use.

If you play in old weather, take a tip from me. You can’t wear the usual attire: a basketball singlet and a pair of top rated basketball shorts. You may want to take a warmup shirt as well and leave it on until you are used to the temperature. In any case, it will be necessary to travel from the outdoor court or gym to the car. You don’t have to buy a suit designed for basketball players unless you want a certain team logo on it. You can use a jogging or gym workout version. Have a look in your closet. You may be pleasantly surprised. I, however, won’t mind getting a really warm one as I am so excited about starting a new sport.

I am thrilled that I took on a new pastime as are my friends. We all found a team with positions available. We sewed on patches for identification and bought warmups in the team colors. This makes you feel like part of a group. I see why people do it. Our suits are machine washable and easy care so they are always ready when we need them. In spite of the cold, we often sweat after a game. You would think looking at the suit that it was 100 degrees outside.

I wouldn’t recommend nylon or cotton warmups as they are best used in spring and summer. In Maine, it has to be fleece or lined. Puffy parkas are unwieldy but I wear them to walk around. Generally, I jog quickly to the car after basketball. I must find a closer parking space!