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Adventures in Retirement – Winter is beautiful, too

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness, Senior Living

Published on January 07, 2015 with No Comments

Technology has given us many options for winter warmth without heavy thicknesses and weight.” --Author Bill Leavitt

Don’t hate me but I love winter.  I also love spring, summer and fall.  However, nearly everyone I talk to hates winter.  It’s too cold and snowy, they say. So, why on earth would anyone love winter?

We are fortunate to live in an area that has four seasons.  Summer is the time of vacations, beaches and fun activities.  Spring is beautiful, with wonderful smells and a hint of the summer to come; the weather is warm enough to go outdoors, but cool enough to get work done.  Fall is the most colorful season with warm days and cool nights.

But winter . . . it’s cold, dreary, icy and miserable.  But is it?

Most of us know that one of the things we need to stay healthy is vitamin D, and you need some time outside every day to get it.  Also, most of us get some exercise in the spring, summer and fall, but often not enough in the winter.  Why is that?

There are plenty of winter sports to participate in.  I love snow skiing, cross-country skiing and ice skating.  I love walking on a brisk, snowy morning.  I take my dog for a half-hour to 45-minute walk every morning.

A friend recently told me that she just can’t seem to get warm outside during the winter.  However, I think it is hard to keep cool in 90-degree temperatures in summer; you just can’t take enough clothes off to cool off.  But in winter, there is no end to the amount of clothing you can put on.  In the movie, “Christmas Story,” Randy had so many layers that he couldn’t lower his arms.

But seriously, technology has given us many options for winter warmth without heavy thicknesses and weight.  New variations of long underwear provide options for different temperatures.  Also, snowmobile suits and skiing warm-up pants are great for maintaining warmth.  There are chemical hand- and toe-warmers that produce heat to keep your hands and feet warm.

It’s all in planning and technique.  For example, there are different combinations of underwear, pants, shirts, sweaters, scarfs, sox and shoes that are appropriate at 30 degrees, 10 degrees, zero, -10 degrees, etc.  I even have several sets of gloves that are appropriate for different temperatures. You just have to figure out what is right for you.  Even when you are driving, you can get a chill if you are not dressed for the weather.

Those of us who are seniors feel chilly most of the time.  I find, however, that if my feet, hands and chest are warm, I am pretty comfortable outside.

What about dressing for work?  Well, there are ways to dress that allow you to remove layers after you get to your place of business.  For instance, a heavy sweater over a light or turtleneck sweater allows you to remove a layer for inside activities.  Many women will keep a pair of high heels or work shoes at work that they can change into.

You will enjoy the beauty of winter if you dress thoughtfully and plan some outdoor activities at least a few times a week.

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About Bill Leavitt

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Bill Leavitt is a technical writer from Valparaiso. After retiring from a large corporation in Chicago, he did technical writing consulting for many companies. He currently teaches part-time at Purdue University Calumet. You can order Leavitt’s book, “Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure,” by sending $16.65 (includes shipping and sales tax) made payable to Write On Technical Writing, Inc., P.O. Box 132,Valparaiso, IN 46384-0132. Or, visit RetirementLifesGreatestAdventure.com for more information.

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