Read the full article at NBC News.

When the weather forecast reveals digits lower than your shoe size, it can take everything you have just to scrape up enough gumption to get off the couch. That’s because, when there’s a deep freeze going on, it’s only natural to want to hibernate, says John Sharp, M.D., a clinical psychiatrist, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) specialist at Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and author of "The Emotional Calendar: Understanding Seasonal Influences and Milestones to Become Happier, More Fulfilled, and in Control of Your Life." Yet, sequestering yourself indoors is hardly the way to feel any better.

Though the urge to shelter in place is strong, it’s much better for your mental and physical health if you put on (what feels like) all of your clothes and go outside anyway.


When considering where to go outdoors, a walk in the park can improve your memory better than an urban safari. One University of Michigan study tested how scenery effected the brain’s cognitive function of two groups of people. Researchers found those who walked around an arboretum showed an improved ability to recall by almost 20 percent, while those who walked around the city didn’t really improve. “Interacting with nature can have similar effects as meditating," said one of the researchers, Marc Berman, in a University of Michigan newsletter. "People don't have to enjoy the walk to get the benefits. We found the same benefits when it was 80 degrees and sunny over the summer as when the temperatures dropped to 25 degrees in January. The only difference was that participants enjoyed the walks more in the spring and summer than in the dead of winter."