And frankly, it’s much easier and more convenient in summer to stay fit. But winter doesn’t have to mean being stuck at home or a soulless gym. From taking long walks in the snow to traveling, from going out with friends to ice-skating, a lot of calories can be burned with a little effort and a lot of fun.
So let’s start with the ice and snow classics:
Skiing. Don’t worry if you didn’t learn to ski when you were younger. It’s not too late to take it up even after 30. Don’t get me wrong, 30 is still young for plenty of things, but I had my worries about balance. But a friend of mine started skiing at 32, and she hasn’t broken or sprained anything yet. She’s 37, and regularly books ski weekends.
You’re luckier if you live in a winter wonderland of a country like Norway where you can reach a skiing area by getting on the subway only for a couple of stops.
Ice-skating.Ice-skating is infinitely easier than skiing or snowboarding, especially if you’ve tried rollerblading before.
But the later you start, the riskier it is to try some artistic moves like the ones you see in competitions. That said, just going smoothly on the ice without a care in the world is something you can pull off after a few tries.
Still, it’s best to dress with some protection during your first few times, especially if you haven’t put on any kind of blades before, roller or otherwise.
If you are curious about how many calories time in the ring will lose you, you can try Sparkpeople’s calculator where you type in your weight and minutes spent doing the sport.
Snowboarding.Sure, it’s not the easiest sport in the world. However,it’s worth the effort once you’ve traveled to that ski lodge or area. Just try not to show off or break any records when you’re starting out. And find a nice, patient instructor.
Snowshoeing.In addition to being considered a fun and easy sport, it’s become so popular that it has entire magazines and blogs dedicated to the activity. Simply put, is “attacking” the snow with your feet (wearing snowshoes) and equipment.
Walking in the snow.You don’t necessarily need to splurge on snowshoeing equipment. Walking in the snow in the city, whether it’s inches deep or has turned into ice, will grant you quite the workout activity itself. However, you need to make sure your regular boots don’t slip, or buy a new pair that’s snow and ice-resistant, meaning you won’t slide and fall.
It’s tremendous fun, even with the effort you need to put into it, and you feel quite proud of yourself when you spend days trekking around in a snow and ice-covered city without falling once.
Playing around in the snow. The cheapest (as in free), easiest and one of the funnest of these activities is just playing with the snow, whether you run around throwing each other snowballs, make snowmen or roll in it. Whatever the activity, you’ll spend a decent amount of energy. But remember to change your wet clothes immediately afterward not to get sick.
Sledding. Sledding might just be the most entertaining activity of all here. You need a sled, a good spot, warm and durable clothes and wham! You are sledding toward having a ball (and getting fitter).According to Sparkpeople’s calculator, a person weighing 150 pounds (about 68kg) burns 234 calories after 30 minutes. The heavier you are, the more you lose. Plus, it’s a great activity for the whole family or group of friends.
Traveling.It’s hard to stick to a strict diet, or even stay away from unhealthy food groups when you are traveling. That said, I either lose weight, or come home more toned after everyvacation, having burned more calories than I took in. So unless you eat junk food every day and lose the count of drinks you have at the bar, you can have a fit vacation. Here’s where you spend the energy:
*Packing, and getting to and through the airport:Packing (there’s a limit to how much you can fit in that suitcase!) andtoddling through gigantic airports (the bigger the airport the better) willburna vast amount of energy. And don’t forget that your luggage will probably be heavier on your way back, after having bought souvenirs and other things.It’s almost like working with weights…
*Sightseeing. Sure, you’ll take different forms of transportation. But you’ll also do a lot of walking to discover the heart and soul of the place.
*Shopping.We covered the benefits of shopping in a previous article.
Going out with friends. This won’t help you if your idea of a great night out is to have a lot of beers with your buddies and just sit around chatting. But if you are an active person who likes to sing and dance, and can enjoy yourself without drinking too much, then you will have your good time, and kick some calories’ butt at the same time.
There you go. These are our favorite winter fitness activities. What are yours?
Pinar Tarhan is a freelance writer and blogger who loves traveling, writing, dancing, movies and music. You can read more of her stuff on her blogAddicted to Writing.
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