The Six Best Winter Workouts to Keep You Feeling Fit
Winter is a rough time for many folks. For some people, the challenge just to walk outside into the cold to enter the car every morning to drive off to work can be agonizing. Staying fit is not even on some people’s radar!
As temperatures drop lower, we generally prefer to spend most of our time indoors, curled up in front of the fire with a mug of hot chocolate and tempting holiday food. Since we’re all wearing heavy clothes anyway, it is easy not to worry about our figures during the winter months. But then we start panicking as soon as spring rolls around because that swimsuit figure you used to have is not quite there anymore.
Luckily, a fine winter workout doesn’t have to be a horrifying experience. There are tons of fun, accessible, and easy-to-do activities that you can make the most of during the holiday season. This can be perfect for helping you work off that extra Halloween candy, those Thanksgiving extra portions of mash potatoes and pumpkin pie, or even start on that Christmas weight gain.
Exercising outside during the winter has some unique benefits for your body, too. For example, you’ll usually burn more calories than normal, because you’ll be working to keep yourself warm as you exercise. Furthermore, staying active during the winter can help to boost your immune system and keep some illnesses from popping up. So what are the best winter activities or any activity to choose from?
1. Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing may be considered as one of the more demanding winter sports out there, but it does help you to engage all of the muscles in your body. It’s a fantastic thing to get involved in though, if you have the drive, and it can be a marvelous group activity for those who are looking for something different to do with their friends this winter.
You don’t even have to compete against one another. You may have to spend some more cash on skis and proper weather clothing to make this activity a viable option, but some people discover a hobby that they love and enjoy for life.
2. Ice Hockey
People who live in colder areas of the world will attest to the fun and excitement of an energetic game of ice hockey. You really only need to invest in a few pieces of equipment, and hire some space on the ice with a bunch of your friends, and you’ll start burning calories within moments.
After a couple of hours on the ice, you won’t have to worry about the calories you’re consuming with that celebratory hot chocolate – you’ll have already earned it.
3. Ice Skating
Similarly to ice hockey, you’re going to need to either hire some space on the ice, or visit a location that allows you to come in and skate for a couple of hours. Ice skating is a wonderful way to obtain some low-impact exercise, and it can provide better strength within your inner thighs and legs, without exerting too much stress on your joints.
Hiking isn’t a form of exercise that has to be taken up in only winter, but it is a salient way for you to take in some of the more beautiful sights around you when the world may seem a little drearier. A novel detail to remember with hiking, is that you should invest in a terrific pair of hiking boots. Make sure you’re well prepared for your trip by taking some liquid with you to drink and some high protein snacks along too.
A marvelous long hike will probably tire you out, but it’ll be well worth it in terms of exercise. Make sure to dress with layers, and pack a signal flare, fire starting equipment, and first aid kit when you take off, just to be on the safe side.
Most people find running to be one of the best outdoor exercises that you can do. Not only does it help to improve your cardiovascular health and boost your endurance, it is also an excellent way to remain in shape.
Running in cold weather can be a magnificent option for a variety of reasons. First of all, there aren’t going to be as many people on the streets, so if you’re a little shy, you can get running without having to worry about extra pairs of eyes. Secondly, you’re not as likely to dehydrate or overheat as you might during the summer months.
6. Snowball Fights
You’re never too old for a snowball fight. No matter what people may tell you, in a snowball fight, you combine short amounts of running with throwing motions that engage both your core and arms for a decent workout.
This is probably the most fun that you can have outside during the winter months, and you have the perfect excuse to get some friends out into the snow with you. Snowball fights can last for quite a while too, with so many people having so much fun, meaning that you’ll burn more calories. Just do not aim for someone’s face! This is not Dumb and Dumber!
A Point to Remember
One final important note to remember about exercising outdoors during the winter months, is that you should dress warmly – but don’t overheat yourself. Remember, when you’re exercising or participating in any of the activities above, you’re going to be sweating and generating excess body heat.
Once you start to accumulate sweat in your clothes, you’re going to become chilled quicker, and depending on the temperature, it can even increase your risk of hypothermia. Staying dry is just as important as keeping yourself warm in the cold weather, so make sure you have a wicking layer closer to your skin, and dress in layers so that you can always remove a couple if you start to become too hot.
About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.