While summer is usually the more popular time for engaging in outdoor exercise, there are many ways to burn calories in winter, as well as exercises that sometimes even burn far more calories! Yes, I know it's cold, but the winter months are also some of the most beautiful to experience. So stop giving excuses for why you won't be active again until the snow melts, and get outside! I'll get you started with these 8 ways to burn calories in winter! Keep in mind that these average calorie ranges will vary for each person based on your height, weight, and level of intensity.
250-550 calories per hour
Snowboarding is one of the most fun ways to burn calories in winter! Recreational snowboarding can help you burn anywhere from 250 to 630 calories per hour for a 110-200 lb adult. Obviously there are several variables that will affect the number of calories you burn while snowboarding, including your current weight and how much effort you put in. Also keep in mind that the above calorie averages represent calories burned during an hour of uninterrupted snowboarding. Thus, if you stop to take breaks or wait in line for a chairlift, make sure you don't take that into account when calculating how much time you were actually snowboarding. Otherwise, enjoy the sights of mountain tops and the adrenaline rush you'll get going down it, while also burning calories!
2. Ice Skating
400-500 calories per hour
Ice skating requires constant movement, which makes it a great way to burn hundreds of calories per hour! It's also a fun way to get outdoors in the winter, but indoor ice skating rinks are another way to enjoy this aerobic activity. General ice skating routines can give your lower body a complete workout, and movements may involve lunges, squats, stretching and leaping. So head to your local rink (or frozen lake) and rent a pair of skates for a fun way to burn major calories!
400-500 calories per hour
Believe it or not, snowshoeing burns about 45 percent more calories than walking or running when done at the same pace and on the same type of terrain. Snowshoeing on a hill or on rough terrain will burn more calories than snowshoeing on flat ground. Snowshoeing is not only good cardiovascular exercise, but it's a great way to be able to get outdoors and stay active in the winter. It's the perfect activity for those of you who love hiking and don't want to be slowed down by the winter weather!
4. Cross Country Skiing
450-650 calories per hour
If you don't already know, cross-country skiing is a form of skiing in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles. Cross-country skiing requires more physical effort and considerably more upper body strength than regular downhill skiing. It involves using consistent upper and lower body motions, and engages stabilizing muscles to strengthen your balance and coordination. So if you don't need the excitement of speed to motivate you, try doing some cross-country skiing! It is definitely a heavy workout.
5. Downhill Skiing
250-450 calories per hour
If the sensation of flying down a snowy mountain peak is your idea of an exhilarating day, downhill skiing is the sport for you! Unfortunately, downhill skiing (also known as alpine skiing) does not burn as many calories as cross-country skiing. However, that doesn't mean it's not still a great (and fun) way to burn calories in the winter! Even better, downhill skiing not only burns lots of calories, but also improves strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and agility!
6. Snowball Fight
100-200 calories per hour
Get competitive with the kids, or some friends, and pick a snowball fight! That light jogging to dodge enemy snowballs will really add up! Plus the extra resistance from the snow will help you to burn more calories than you would jogging on a normal day. So grab some people and head to the local park. There are plenty of trees to take cover behind and lots of untouched snow to equip yourself with!
300-500 calories per hour
Who would have thought that sledding could burn so many calories? But, when you think about it, you have to walk up a steep hill every time you want to sled back down! You also use your core muscles to keep your sled in control. It's a simple and fun exercise to do with your kids! Just try not to negate your calorie loss with a hot chocolate afterwards, I know it will be hard!
8. Shoveling Snow
200-400 calories per hour
Yes, I'm ending with the dreaded winter snow shoveling. Sure, the snow-blower saves time, but shoveling can be quite the winter workout! Thirty minutes into clearing off your driveway and you'll have already burned a ton of calories and worked your arm muscles as well. Just be sure to shovel safely so as not to hurt your back. Remember, life from your knees, not your back!
The gym always becomes packed during the winter months, but you can overcome the crowd by practicing one of these fun winter activities instead. The best thing about most of these activities is that you can do each with your friends and family! So not only are you staying active and losing weight, but you're having fun while doing it! What's your favorite winter activity?