If you want to stay in shape all year round, you can’t really afford to miss out on what winter has to offer. Sure, summertime is great for burning calories in the lovely outdoors, but who said winter isn’t as well?
It’s true, the mercury will drop, but this doesn’t automatically imply you should stay in and hibernate on the couch. Winter is a great season to continue staying physically active. This time of year provides us with numerous full-body activities that allow us to burn calories and have fun at the same time.
Here’s what you can do during the cold season in order to stay fit:
Ice Skating: 450 Calories/Hour
Ice skating is one of the best aerobic workouts you can try during wintertime. This activity is designed to improve both your balance and coordination and to put to work multiple muscle groups in your body: calves, hamstrings, quadriceps or abdominal muscles. All that gliding around the ice will get your heart rate up and hence improve your cardiovascular health. It will also help you torch a considerable amount of calories: 450 in just one hour.
Snowshoeing: 525 Calories/Hour
Snowshoeing is something you definitely have to try in the cold season. This relatively new type of winter sport is fun and quite easy to do: all you have to do is strap on your snowshoes and start walking through the snow. Snowshoeing targets all the important muscle groups in your legs and, because it requires a lot more effort, it can torch more calories in comparison to normal walking: 525 calories/hour. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t require any special skills, just your desire and ability to walk through the snow.
Hiking: 450 Calories/Hour
Hiking is not something you can do only when it’s warm and sunny outside. You can go on such an adventure in the colder period of the year as well. In addition to enjoying the fresh air and spending quality time with your group of friends, you also get to benefit from a vigorous workout. Hiking through the snow is more challenging, since you need to push harder to advance, and therefore is great for both your leg muscles and heart. Just make sure to dress adequately and wear insulated boots.
Cross-Country Skiing: 600 Calories/Hour
Cross-country skiing is one of the most effective winter workouts, particularly if you’re looking for a full-body workout. All that constant pushing and pulling will seriously work both your lower- and upper-body and will help you torch that undesired belly fat. Skiing at a moderate speed (4.0-4.9 mph) for one hour will allow you to burn 525 calories, while doing it at a brisk speed (5.0-7.9 mph) will lead to an impressive total of 600 calories burned.
Downhill Skiing: 525 Calories/Hour
Downhill skiing can truly make you fit. This is due to the fact that it works a wide range of muscle groups, from quadriceps and hamstrings to gluteal muscles and upper body. As a result, this winter sport can help you strengthen your bones and joints, improve your balance and of course lose weight. Skiing downhill for one hour at a moderate intensity will burn 375 calories, while doing at high intensity will allow you to torch 525 calories.
Sledding: 450 Calories/Hour
One of our beloved childhood activities during the winter season can turn out to be a great workout. Sledding can help you have fun with your kids and family and burn up to 450 calories in the process. Of course, the key to reaching those numbers and improving your fitness level is to walk back up the hill every time you reach the bottom. Just make sure to take some precautionary measures and don’t sled near trees or rocks or on hills that end on a street.
Snowboarding: 465 Calories/Hour
Snowboarding is one of the most entertaining and popular winter sports worldwide. It not only allows you to have fun on the slope and hence improve your mood, but it also comes with a series of physical benefits. Snowboarding helps you strengthen your leg muscles, bones and joints, improve your balance and flexibility, as well as burn calories and drop those unwanted pounds. Hitting the slopes for one hour will help you torch a total of 465 calories.
Remember to Track your Workouts
Engaging in various sports and simply staying physically active is fundamental to maintaining a good overall health. At the same time it’s quite important to start tracking your physical activity during the day. Monitoring your workouts can turn out to be beneficial in numerous ways. It can help you hold yourself accountable, set a goal and find the motivation to carry on until you reach it, understand where you’re coming from and the progress made along the way.
In order to track your activity you don’t really need to purchase an additional fitness gadget. It can be rather expensive and you always have to remember to take it with you on purpose and to constantly charge it. The far simpler option is to use your smartphone, which you carry with you basically anywhere you go. You can download an app like our own ActivityTracker and keep track of what’s important to you: the amount of calories burned, the number of steps taken, the distance covered or the total active time.
Note: The total calorie burn provided in the article is based on a 165-pound (75 kg) adult and uses data from CalorieLab and MyFitnessPal.