How to Handle a Michigan Winter

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Let’s face it; Michigan winters are brutal. They are unpredictable, feel never-ending, make your eyes water and your nose run and leave you staring longingly at your pictures from summer. Whether you’ve lived here all your life or if this will be your first-ever Michigan winter, here are some things to keep in mind while trying to survive the harsh weather.

Staying Warm

Heated Blankets — These are truly a blessing to Michiganders. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to crank the heat up in your house or apartment, this is perfect for you. You don’t have to do anything other than plug in the cord, wrap yourself in a giant blanket that envelops your entire body in heated goodness and enjoy it for as long as you want. Prices vary depending on the size of the blanket, but you can find them at almost any store that sells home goods.

Durable Scarves, Hats and Gloves — There is nothing worse than having to walk through the blistering wind and snow while you slowly but surely begin to develop frostbite. Being in Michigan, there is definitely a chance that this will happen to you at some point in your life. In order to avoid this disaster, you need to invest in some heavy-duty apparel and accessories. Those dainty little mittens, flimsy scarves and thin headbands just aren’t going to cut it; you will be miserable and you will regret it. You will need thick scarves that will be able to cover your mouth and nose, gloves that will keep your hands protected from the snow and wind and hats that will stay put no matter how much the wind is whipping you around. Sporting goods and department stores are good places to look for these necessities for the upcoming winter.

Hot Food and Drinks — These are your best friends! There are very few things that are worthwhile during the winter, but steaming hot food and drinks are two of them. First, enduring the harsh winter gives you the perfect excuse to indulge a little (or a lot) on hot chocolate, steaming-hot soups, warm baked goods and various other comfort foods and drinks to get you through the cold weather. In fact, using your oven to make baked goods will even heat up your home more, so it’s definitely a win-win situation. And if you’re feeling brave enough to venture out into the cold, you can find several restaurants and cafes around campus with delicious foods to keep you warm.

Staying Active

Join a Gym — This might seem like an obvious one, but for those who tend to run outside for their daily dose of exercise, it might be time to trade the outdoors for an indoor track or treadmill. Running might keep you warm for a little while, but nothing ruins your workout faster than slipping on a patch of ice and bruising your tailbone.

Buy or Download a Workout App — There are tons of workout apps that you can easily download onto your phone or laptop. This gives you some creative ways to use the things inside your home for your workout session. Some great apps include Workout Trainer, Fitstar and Sworkit. All three are free to download, which means you’re saving money and staying fit. It’s a win-win situation!

Join an Indoor Team or Class — With so many options available, it’s easy to find a sport that you enjoy. Indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming and several other sports are all available to join at IM West, IM East, and IM Circle. You might have to venture out into the cold to get there, but you’ll be able to enjoy the sports you love while inside. Joining an indoor team or taking an exercise class is also a great way to meet new people and to maintain a regular exercise routine.

Everything Counts — Cleaning, organizing and rearranging, whatever you can do around your home, do it. Winter tends to make most of us want to sleep all day or slowly sink further and further into the couch and wallow in our winter blues. However, keeping busy by adding more to your daily schedule will not only give you more to do, but it will keep you moving. No matter the task, keeping your body active benefits your health in more ways than one.


Taylor Downs is a junior professional writing major from Kalamazoo, Mich. You will almost always find her with coffee in hand or spending far too much time on her phone texting or listening to music. She loves going out to eat, indulging in TV reruns and spending time with her family and friends.


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