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Give it a Go and Have Some Outdoor Winter Fun with Friluftsliv



Photo for: Give it a Go and Have Some Outdoor Winter Fun with Friluftsliv

(Photo courtesy of Bonnie Wydra)

Get out of your comfort zone and try a bit of friluftsliv this winter.

This Norwegian philosophy (pronounced free-loofts-liv) means open air or outdoor living. If you're up for the challenge, sign up for one of two a friluftsliv excursion hikes being offered in January and February. 

Excursion Hike: Hadley Valley is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, January 22, at Hadley Valley Preserve – Gougar Road Access, New Lenox Township. Register by January 20. 

Excursion Hike: Plum Creek Greenway Trail is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 19, at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, Crete Township. Register by Thursday, February 17.

“These programs are being offered to help get people outside in nature despite the winter weather,” said Jen Guest, the Forest Preserve District’s recreation coordinator. “It’s a chance to rethink winter as a dreadful time. Instead, let’s get outside and have fun!”

Being outdoors in winter also introduces more natural light into your life.

“This gives us a chance to change our mindset toward the darker months by embracing winter and appreciating it rather than avoiding it,” Guest said.  

Guest added the friluftsliv programs to the schedule this year to teach people how they can get more fresh air in winter and enjoy being outdoors.

“The friluftsliv programs offer all kinds of simple suggestions to get outside and enjoy how peaceful winter can actually be in nature,” she said. “It’s as simple as a hike, campfire, running, reading a book, sitting in a chair, or playing in the snow. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get outside in nature.”

Scandinavians know that being outdoors year-round brings them happiness, she added.

“And Scandinavian employers love the idea of friluftsliv because it reduces stress and keeps employees in a better mental state,” she said. “This leads to a better work community and productivity in the work environment.”

So, Guest is asking that you give it a go and have some fun with friluftsliv.

“Get outside to relax, refresh and re-energize," she said."Learn how it can make you a happier person. Anyone can find a way to enjoy nature despite their age, abilities or the weather. People tend to think of nature as being geographically distant, but the reality is we have plenty of beautiful natural spaces right here in Will County that can be enjoyed year-round." 

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Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Compass, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to Get Going, which outlines the must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.

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