The weather outside may be frightful, but some winter activities can really give you a workout
There’s no reason to be housebound during the cold months. There’s a winter workout for just about everybody, one that boosts your immune system, strengthens your muscles and slashes calories. Take your pick:
You can burn more calories snowshoeing than you can walking, running or cross-country skiing at the same pace. In fact, some fitness experts consider it the best fat-burning winter workout. Two studies—one from Ball State University and the other from the University of Vermont—found snowshoers can burn between 420 and 1,000 calories per hour, depending on whether or not they walk on flat or hilly terrain. This cardio exercise does more than slash calories; it also helps you build strength, agility, balance and endurance.
Men’s Fitness called cross-country skiing, which works every part of your body, the winter workout you should be doing. Burn 560 calories an hour with very little stress on your joints.
Though sledding might seem like child’s play, you can burn 450 calories in an hour trekking your sled back up the hill after every run.
Snowboarding, considered the world’s fastest-growing winter sport, helps you get fit by developing arm and leg muscles and improving flexibility. The calories you burn while snowboarding will vary depending on your weight and the intensity of your workout, but you can wipe out 250 to 630 calories during a recreational session, 700 to 1,260 during rigorous snowboarding.
Ice climbing looks a lot like rock climbing, only you’re climbing frozen waterfalls, icefalls and cliffs instead of rocks. The sport builds arm and quadriceps strength, while also developing your core and improving your cardiovascular health. Scaling up the ice ain’t for the faint of heart, but you can burn roughly 307 calories in 39 minutes doing this extreme sport.
Satisfy your inner speed freak with downhill skiing; burn 310 calories in 45 minutes.
Ice skating is more than just graceful movements on a rink. It builds leg muscles, improves balance and endurance, helps with weight management and is a great way to relieve stress. This low-impact exercise is easy on your joints, and a 155-pound woman can burn 387 calories while skating relatively slowly.
Into team sports? Ice hockey may be your winter workout of choice. In addition to the new social circle, ice hokey works your lower body and abs, which help you maintain balance, and your upper body. And the stop-start nature of the sport enhances its cardio benefits.