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As Iowa gets colder and our COVID-19 cases continue to climb, you might be thinking the only way to stay safe and healthy this winter is to stay home. Staying home is always a safe choice, but luckily the Norwegians have another option for us: friluftsliv.

Friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) is a Norwegian concept that translates to open-air living and exemplifies the tradition of making time outdoors part of your everyday life, regardless of the season. If there was ever a year to embrace spending time outdoors even during the winter this is it.

First, if we want to be around others right now, outdoors is one of the safest places to be. According to the CDC, its safer to be outdoors than it is to be indoors because there's both more ventilation and its easier to stay distanced outdoors.

Here are tips for friluftsliv success this winter:

1. Make it social. I mentioned outdoors is one of the safest places to gather. Invite a friend! Be sure to maintain 6+ distance, and wear masks if you cant guarantee you can maintain that distance.

4. There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. This is another wise phrase attributed to Scandinavians. Bundle up, and make sure others with you are properly dressed. Wearing a winter neck gaiter over your nose and mouth can both keep you warm and slow the spread of COVID-19.

7. Give yourself a destination. Any of these ideas will feel new at a new spot. Check out the Cass County Trails map atwww.AtlanticIowa.comfor 12 great trail sites in Cass County, or pick up a printed trail map at the information booth outside the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce.

Till next time, enjoy the fresh air, even if its chilly!


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