Embrace the cold! A winter action plan for fun

Think Newfoundland and Labrador winters are too miserable for merriment? Think again, says the group behind #winteraction.

New initiative nudges people to get off the couch

The #winteraction group says winter fun shouldn't be just for kids. (Submitted by Ally Sheppard)

Think Newfoundland and Labrador winters are too miserable for merriment? Think again …says a group behind a new initiative to get people off the couch.

"It's kind of a grassroots movement to change the way Atlantic Canadians think about winter," said Jonathan Duke, one of the organizers of #winteraction.

"Our big issue is that winter is really long, cold and dark and we all have a tendency to hibernate, myself included," he told the St. John's Morning Show this week.

"So what that means is that we're not out enjoying our communities, socializing, being active, all that good stuff and that really affects our physical and mental health as well as the health of our businesses."

But what about the cold, and the slush, and the wind? Not to mention to cost of activities like skiing and winter camping?

"Winter activities can be expensive, so one of the things we're trying to do is a social marketing campaign to spread the word about all the great stuff that is happening," said Duke.

"You often hear there's nothing on the go, but once we started to look into it there's actually tons on the go."

The group plans to offer some tips on how to dress for winter — wear layers, take rain gear — and to review the skills you need to enjoy the outdoors.

"How do you go have a boil-up, that type of stuff that used to be really normal to us but is going by the wayside?" said Duke.

Enjoying winter doesn't have to be complicated, or expensive, says the group behind #winteraction. (Sean Gallup/Getty)

"We're also meeting with municipalities to see how they're winterizing their public spaces. We kind of see winter as being our normal state so how do we use spaces that are designed for summer."

While Duke acknowledged that the Avalon Peninsula is at a disadvantage when it comes to winter fun, he said there are options.

"In St. John's we have the [Bannerman Park] Loop, which is great. We have the Pippy Park track."

And he said it doesn't have to be complicated.

"It could be picking up a hobby, going to yoga, or a game of shinny hockey, there's always stuff to be at."