Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t continue exercising. The snow may present some challenges to your normal regimen, but there are several alternative workouts you can try to keep you moving in the winter.

  • Cross-country skiing is a great workout, exercising all of your major muscle groups. This aerobic activity is still gentle on the joints, and you can do it at any pace. Added bonus: a 160-pound adult can burn more than 650 in an hour while cross-country skiing.
  • Snowshoeing is even simpler than cross-country skiing as it requires nothing more than basic walking skills. It can burn 950 calories for that same 160-pound adult.
  • If you’re up for the challenge, downhill skiing is a thrill that can burn 450 calories an hour.
  • Break out your skates at the local arena or outdoor rink. In one hour, ice-skating burns 534 calories.

While working out outdoors, remember to dress appropriately. You want to feel warm while exercising, not hot and sweaty. Layer your clothes for the best results: an inner, synthetic layer to wick sweat away, a middle insulating layer, and an outer layer of waterproof/windproof fabric. Avoid cotton, if possible, as it acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture. Don’t forget to wear a hat and gloves, in addition to sunscreen (no matter how cloudy it may seem).

Stay hydrated, no matter the workout. People are more susceptible to dehydration in colder environments, and water helps keep you warm. Always remember to warm up thoroughly and to take it easy. If you feel worn out, listen to your body and take a breather.

Reference: Prevention, “Cold Weather Ways to Burn Fat Fast!” November 2011. http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/cold-weather-and-winter-walking

Reference: WebMD, “White-Hot Winter Workouts,” January 21, 2005. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/white-hot-winter-workout?page=2

 

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