When the temperatures drop and that powdery snow starts to pile up, we often retreat to the warmth of our homes in lieu of the gym. However, there’s no better way to keeping fit than by throwing on those thermal layers and heading outside for a cold-weather workout. Your journey toward a better body and better health doesn’t get to take a break. This informative article highlights several outdoor winter workouts you can do no matter where you live. Keep reading to learn more about wintertime exercises that are very impactful in the long run.
Outdoor Winter Workouts You’ll Want to Try
Try your hand at one or all of these cold-weather workouts to find which form of exercise challenges you the most.
Hiking: There is a lot of beauty to behold once you sneak past the city skyline. If venturing out into the wilderness and getting some exercise along the way sounds fun to you, you will undeniably love hiking. This dynamic cardio workout can lower your risk of heart disease and boost blood pressure levels. Remember to pack on the layers before heading out on the trail. You should also prepare ample time for your entire trip, so you avoid wandering around in the dark. Be safe, not sorry, by packing a first aid kit, a portable phone charger, signal flares, and water. You just never know what you might encounter in the back country.
Ice Skating: Though you may not be able to spin into a signature spiral like Michele Kwan or perform a triple loop combination like Tara Lipinski, there is no better way to challenge your lower body than by skating. This wintery sport requires balance and causes the small-group muscles that keep you upright to work as hard, if not harder, than if you were attempting ballet. Ice skating burns approximately 460 calories per hour. Like dance, ice skating can also create an intense cardio workout and promote strength training. Skip the figure skating for now and start by skating laps at your local rink or iceplex.
Sledding: Believe it or not, but sledding can actually be a powerful winter workout. While flying down a hillside isn’t going to be a major calorie buster, the trip up that same slope will work your glutes just as hard as any set of squats. Sledding combines steering and balancing to work your core muscles, burning approximately 360 calories per hour. As an added benefit, you can soak up more Vitamin D by spending a little time outside with friends and loved ones.
Skiing: There are many skiing styles, but the most popular include alpine and cross-country. Downhill skiing may be thrilling, but you can burn more calories by avoiding the slopes and heading into the wilderness for some wintery fun.
Cross-country skiing burns approximately 570 calories per hour. This high-caliber cardio workout will tone your entire body and help you build muscle. Because cross-country skiing uses just about every muscle, we strongly suggest training and conditioning beforehand. Biking, kayaking, and running are all great cardio warm-ups for skiing.
Snowboarding: If you are losing motivation to head to the gym, it may be time for you to hit the slopes. Wintertime is all about recreational activities, and snowboarding is one of the best ways to soak up the sun from a snowcapped mountain. Snowboarding burns approximately 490 calories per hour, but this aerobic exercise can also improve your cardiovascular system. Once you know whether you ride regular or goofy, you will find that snowboarding promotes balance and flexibility. Much like skateboarding, surfing, and skiing, snowboarding can also strengthen your core.
Snowshoeing: Whether you live in remote woodlands or you’re visiting a well-known winter recreation area, you can get a good workout even when the snow is packed. Snowshoeing is one of the most exerting exercises in our list of outdoor winter workouts. Burning between 400 and 1,000 calories per hour, this activity helps build strength, agility, and increases your endurance. Plus, you get to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the gym. Get outside and enjoy the beauty that winter provides while working up a sweat.
Which Workout Will You Try?
The key to each of these outdoor winter workouts is that you start slowly. Don’t make the mistake of heading to the slopes without any experience or idea of proper form. Don’t pick just any frozen pond for ice skating. Take on any new workout routine or recreational activity with safety at the forefront, and you will enjoy a different kind of progress by heading outside instead of to the gym this winter.