When most people think of sports, they think of warm weather. After all, the spring and summer are ideal for going outside and having fun. There's nothing better than the sun on your back and a clear sky, but that's not something you can guarantee during all parts of the year.
While there are certainly some sports that can only be played when it's warm out, it's good to note that there are still plenty of options for activity in the winter. There are a whole host of sports that can only be played when the weather starts to get cooler, ranging from high-impact team sports to artistic individual endeavors. If you're looking for a way to stay active when the snow starts to fall, it's important that you start to look at winter sports.
Popular Winter Sports
There are a number of winter sports that are quite popular, though the demand does vary by region. Some of these sports are simply indoor variations on popular outdoor sports, while others can only be played in the winter. Choosing the right sport typically means understanding what type of physical activity drives you.
Perhaps the best-known winter sport is skiing. Available in downhill and cross-country varieties, it is more popular in regions that have natural winter snowfall. Hockey is also an incredibly common winter sport, one that can be played anywhere that has an indoor ice rink. Even football tends to be played during the early winter in most areas, with seasons stretching until January or February.
Ice skating is another very popular winter sport. Though it can technically be done at any time of the year, both professional and amateur skaters spend a significant amount of time on the ice during the winter. Other sorts, like curling, also tend to be winter-focused even though they can be played year-round. Seasons for anything that involves ice tend to revolve around whether ice could (theoretically) also be found outside.
How to Stay Warm
If there's a single word that describes how to stay warm in the winter, it's this - layers. If you are playing any kind of outdoor winter sport, layering your clothing is a must. Though layers can slow you down when you need speed, they can also help to keep the biting cold from causing frostbite. That's one of the primary reasons why even hockey players, who do play indoors, typically wear at least one shirt under their game sweaters.
Keeping dry is also very important. Almost every winter sport features some kind of waterproof clothing. Though the moisture from snow isn't necessarily immediately apparent to observers, it's something that can bog down athletes of all shapes and sizes. Keeping moisture away also helps to keep away hypothermia, as the excess moisture can serve to bring to down the body temperature of participants. As such, having a waterproof outer layer is usually very important to anyone who spends a significant amount of time out in the snow.
Equipment to Buy
Every sport has its own unique types of equipment. What's important isn't necessarily which specific items you buy, but the quality of the equipment itself. You always want to buy something that's going to last for more than one season and that will provide a reasonable level of protection.
Most winter sports have some kind of protective gear associated with them. For skiers, this generally means investing in a good helmet. For hockey players, though, this might mean investing in a full set of pads. Anything that will keep an injury from stopping a player is usually a good purchase.
There are also a number of sport-specific items. Hockey players need sticks, ice skaters need costumes, and skiers need skis. Investing in a good snowboard, pair of skates, or even snowshoes can be an important part of getting ready for the winter sport season. As long as these items are of good quality, they can last an athlete for years.
It's also generally a good idea to invest in some kind of snow gear. Gloves, hats, and shoes are a must for getting to and from the sport. The last thing you want is to get sick after a long game or exhibition.