NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — A rescue dog, Mutt Mulligan, that’s the spokesdog of the TurfMutt Foundation, says the key to health and well-being is getting outside in the winter.

According to a news release, for a decade, TurfMutt has advocated for the importance of managed landscapes and other green spaces. Especially when it comes to human health and happiness.

Mutt Mulligan (a.k.a. Mo-Mo) knows that escapes in nature are even more important in the winter than during warm weather.

“No one enjoys being outside as much as the family dog,” said Kris Kiser, president of the TurfMutt Foundation and The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Getting outside in the winter takes a little more preparation and planning, but there is no reason to abandon it. In fact, there are many reasons why it is a good idea to continue going outside throughout the winter.”

There’s no such thing as bad weather, but lousy clothing choices.

Mo-Mo has seven encouraging reasons to bundle up and get outside. Remember this is for your health and well-being:

  1. Outdoor time elevates your mood. Any exposure to natural light increases the levels of serotonin, your body’s “happy chemical.” The sun is a great way to get a dose of vitamin D for your bones and immune system.
  2. Improves memory. According to a study done by the University of Michigan, walking in natural settings instead of urban settings improves recall ability by almost 20%.
  3. Reconnecting and recharging outside is safe. Unplugging from any and all electronic devices when it’s cold is important, and easily done by simply going outside for a while. You can add a patio heater or fire pit to the yard to make it even cozier and bearable.
  4. Activity boosts immunity. Exercising helps to decrease the risk of heart disease, maintain bone health, and flush out bacteria from the lungs and airways.
  5. You burn more calories in the cold. Being outside in the winter makes your body work harder to keep you warm, meaning that you burn more calories. Have a friendly snowball fight, take the dog for a walk to boost your metabolism, and have fun at the same time.
  6. It doesn’t take long to reap nature’s benefits. There is good news, even on the coldest of days. Spending only 20 minutes in any sort of natural setting reduces stress levels.
  7. Taking care of the yard kills two birds with one stone. By taking care of the yard in the winter, you can spend time outside and help prepare for the spring. If you use power equipment, make sure you read the owner’s manual and follow safety precautions.