Forget the Fireplace, Burn Calories this Winter
By Sara Butler
Winter is tough. All the snow and frigid temperatures don’t exactly inspire going outside to exercise. But that snow and ice, if you look at them the right way, are the key to your calorie-torching winter workouts.
There are a ton of activities you can do outdoors in the winter that you simply can’t do any other time of the year. So, lace up your boots, grab your scarf and mittens, and head outside to experience a few of these calorie-blasting activities!
Yes, curling. You know you watch it with rapt attention during the Olympics, so why not give it a go? Curling is a relatively easy sport to try your hand at but takes time to master. It gets your entire body involved as you work to balance on the ice and work with a team. The average person burns about 272 calories per hour, so give it a go (or a curl, perhaps?).
No one expects you to be Shaun White -- you don’t need to do the Double McTwist to have fun or burn calories while snowboarding. Casual snowboarding is relaxing and enjoyable, plus it’s a killer workout for your core muscles and your legs. Cruising the slopes or hitting the snow park can help you to burn about 430 calories per hour.
Skiing is a classic winter activity. It gets you outside to enjoy the scenery with friends and family while you work out nearly every single muscle in your body.
Think about it: Skiing requires you to sit in a semi-squat position the entire time, pushing your leg muscles to their limit. You must also use your muscles to stay balanced, which brings your core into the mix and you use the muscles in your shoulders and upper back to help you maintain good posture, lest you topple over. All this burns about 430 calories per hour.
I absolutely loved sledding as a kid -- and have the scars to prove it. Little did I know at the time what a great workout it is. It makes sense though since you trudge up a steep hill only to speed down it again, using your core to keep your sled in control. Plus, you have fun while you’re burning an amazing 468 calories per hour.
Ice skating is yet another winter activity that doesn’t feel like exercise at all. You can do it with friends and even get your grumpy tween to join in (you may even see a smile). It’s a low-impact activity, provided you steer clear of the jumps, which means it’s good for your joints too, allowing you to burn as many as 500 calories per hour, depending on how hard you push it.
Don’t fear the hockey rink. While your favorite hockey player may be missing a few teeth, you can keep yours intact as you enjoy this sport. It really works your legs and your core, burning about 550 calories per hour.
I always thought snowshoeing was something done in cartoons, but it’s actually a really great winter activity. In fact, it’s a lot like hiking, allowing you to take in the beauty of the winter season as you explore various terrains and scenic panoramas. If you’re an avid runner, snowshoeing is a great activity to replace a few of your runs in the winter, since it helps build cardiovascular endurance as you burn about 575 calories per hour.
Cross Country Skiing
If you want to take a break from your body sculpting classes at the gym, you can easily replace it with cross-country skiing in the winter. It works your upper and lower body, engaging your entire body as you glide across a winter wonderland. It’s a pretty intense workout, burning about 575 calories per hour.
When the snow begins to fall and the temperatures plummet, don’t lock yourself inside all winter. Outdoor activities in the winter are a great way to stay fit and have fun as you wait for spring to arrive.
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