Stay Active this Winter Season

 

It’s no secret – we tend to gain weight over the winter season. We eat like crazy over the holidays and the cold temperatures make it utterly unappealing to do anything that raises our heart rate past a snail’s pace. In order to stay active during the winter season, you need to find an activity that you’ll ENJOY doing.

We often underestimate the calorie-burning potential of winter activities. Here are five things you can do to help you stay active this winter.

Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding

Racing down a snowy hill on nothing but two pieces of plastic sounds pretty crazy, but it can be one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. If you’re looking for a winter activity to take up, don’t underestimate the power of downhill skiing (or snowboarding). It will help you build great leg strength, balance and overall coordination. You’ll also build incredible core strength as you weave down the mountain. Skiing/snowboarding is also a social event. You probably already have a few friends who are into it. Just remember to bundle up.
Calories Burned: ~600 calories/hour

Skating

You probably have an old pair of skates in the basement or garage somewhere. Go grab them and sharpen them. If you don’t, they’re cheap so get yourself a pair. Skating is an activity for all age groups. Skating rinks can be found anywhere and are free to use. The more vigorous your skating is (i.e. leisure vs. ice hockey) the more your legs have to work and the more calories you will burn. Skating is a great overall cardiovascular workout so there really is no excuse not to try it.
Calories Burned: ~350 calories/hour

Sledding/Toboganning

Although you may think this is something your kids would only do, don’t underestimate the ridiculous calorie-burning potential of sledding or toboganning. More often than not, the incredible rush you get from speeding down the hill masks the utterly demanding task of climbing back up that hill – on foot. But this is what makes the activity so effective. Your legs get an incredible workout as you trot your way up that hill for one more sleigh ride down. Take your kids with you and see how you feel after a few runs. Remember, the steeper the hill, the better the ride, and the better the workout.
Calories Burned: ~420 calories/hour

Walking

I know you’re probably thinking “it’s too cold for that” and on some days you’re probably right. But the winter season has us couped indoors so much that we forget how nice it feels to take in some cool, fresh air. Walking is a great social activity. You can do it with your friends or your family members, or your can go alone to clear your thoughts. Many studies have shown that walking regularly reduces your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases.
Calories Burned: ~180

Snow Shoveling

If you’re debating whether to get that snowblower, here’s a hint – DON’T. Shoveling snow may be a tedious task, but that’s only if you see it as one. If you look at the positive side and you see that shoveling snow may be a great workout for your arms, upper and lower back, shoulders and core, then you’ll be looking forward to the next snowstorm. Just remember to use an ergonomic shovel and good technique to lower the risk of injuries.
Calories Burned: ~380

All in all, there are plenty of ways to stay active this winter season. Don’t let this winter be another hibernation session where you pack on 15 pounds. Find the activity that you enjoy the most and get out there and enjoy the snow!

12 thoughts on “Stay Active this Winter Season”

  1. It’s a pity you didn’t have sleeping as a choice causes that’s what I like to do when it get cold, then drinking hot rum drinks!
    But you are dead right there are many activities that can be treated as workouts if you view them the right way.
    Raymond

  2. Srdjan,

    Great ideas, although I am not a fan of the cold at all. I just accept the fact that I’m going to gain weight over the holidays instead of stressing over it. I know how to get rid of the weight fairly quickly afterwards. During this past holiday season, I gained about 5 lbs and I’ve already lost 3 after a few days of being back into my routine.

    Alykhan

  3. @Raymond
    I would have loved to include sleeping in there but it just didn’t match the calorie-burning potential of the other activities. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

    @Paul
    Thanks for the comment, buddy. The calorie-burning potential of some activities is mind blowing. Who would’ve thought a chore like shoveling snow (as boring and tedious as it is) could be considered an effective calorie-burning activity. Speaking of which, I got some snow waiting for me outside right now.

  4. @Alykhan
    I’m not really a fan of the “accept the fact I’m going to gain weight” method. I know others who use it and some are successful with it and others aren’t (they gain 10+ lbs over the holidays and become too lazy to work it off). Glad it works for you, man. Thanks for the comment.

  5. I went skiing for the first time in 3 years and my legs didn’t get sore at all. I guess keeping in shape the rest of the year helps! My back did get sore though from snowmobiling. Sitting hunched over going over bumps for 50 miles will do that to you.

    David

  6. Nice ideas Srdjan, I know a lot of people resign themselves to putting on weight every Winter, but we really do have a choice. The benefits of staying active are huge and staying active is a great way to keep the winter blues at bay.

    Michael

  7. @David
    Keeping your legs nice and strong will definitely help with skiing or snowboarding. I’ve had friends go snowboarding for the first time in years and not be able to walk for the next 4 days. Their tailbone wasn’t in the greatest shape either. I’ve never tried snowmobiling but it’s definitely on my to do list!

    @Michael
    It’s unfortunate that people do resign themselves. I think people just don’t understand how easy it is to stay active during the winter. Thanks for the comment.

  8. That’s a lot of good ways to burn some extra calories outside the gym. Certainly enough to help offset a lot of the weight gain that comes from the holidays. My new “activity” this winter has been pulling around my son on a sled. Sprints while pulling someone in the snow is certainly a challenging workout and I’m always winded after!

  9. Hi Srdjan,

    Living in a year round climate I don’t really feel the cold weather so my training is pretty constant all year round. I like some of your ideas to help keep the winter fat at bay. Chopping wood for fires is another of my favourites

    Cheers

    H

  10. @Dave
    That’s really creative Dave. Sounds like a Rock IV workout to me 🙂

    @Howard
    It must be nice to have no cold periods – I’ve never experienced that. It probably makes everything so much easier. That’s a great activity you added – definitely a serious core workout if done right. Thanks for the comment!

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