As the winter weather bears down on most of the country, it can put a wrench into your exercise routine, especially if you prefer to run, walk or play sports outdoors. The cold is only one barrier; it also gets dark earlier in the evening, which can cut activities short and make exercising outside dangerous.
Fortunately, the winter offers many great opportunities to be active through creative methods of exercise. Who knows, you may find something that will work with your lifestyle year round.
- Snowy activities. If you live in an area where it snows, take advantage. Put on your snow gear and go sledding you can burn over 100 calories in just 15 minutes! Simply playing in the snow can also contribute to exercise. Build a snowman or have a snowball fight with your kids. If you are feeling extra adventurous, hit the slopes and ski or try snow tubing. Think of the snowy landscape as your new playground in the winter!
- Ice Skating. Did you know an hour of ice skating can burn over 400 calories? In places that hold a colder temperature, you may be able to find an outdoor rink. In many places you can skate in the comfort of an indoor rink free from the elements. Regardless of the location, ice skating is not only fun, but a great way to strengthen your whole body.
- Indoor swimming. Swimming is not just a summer sport as many people enjoy swimming year round. Join a gym with an indoor. Swimming is low impact, but can be vigorous enough to obtain aerobic benefit. An hour of leisurely swimming burns about 340 calories.
At home workouts. Are you the type of person who is self-motivated? Try a body weight exercise routine in the comfort of your home; you won’t have to go anywhere and no equipment is needed! Here’s a great 20 minute arm and leg workout:
- 10 push-ups
- 10 squats
- 10 tricep dips
- 10 lunges
- 10 bench presses with weights or a broom stick.
- Repeat the circuit 3-5 times.
The winter months can be challenging for some, but with a little creativity and planning it could be your most active time of the year. Remember to keep it fun and participate in the activities that you enjoy. Grab a friend and head outside for a walk and some cold, fresh air. The cold weather alone can help you burn extra calories as the body has to work a little harder to keep normal body temperature. Also, remember to stay hydrated. The cold weather can mask the body’s need for water. Continue to strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes per week. You can break this up throughout the day or do it all at once. Good luck and have fun! Let me know what winter exercise routine works for you!