Winter Workouts: 8 Outdoor Exercises to Keep You Fit and Active During the Cold Months
Winter is a challenging season for those trying to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. The cold temperatures tend to keep us inside, the abundance of holiday food can be tempting, and with layers of clothing to hide our figure, it’s easy to become complacent about our fitness goals. However, by incorporating outdoor workouts into our routine, we can combat these challenges and stay in shape during the winter. Plus, working out in cold weather provides some unique benefits, such as burning more calories to stay warm and boosting our immunity against illnesses. Here are eight of the best outdoor exercises to try this winter:
Running is a classic outdoor exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, build endurance, and tone our legs. Running in the winter can be a fun and refreshing experience, as there are generally fewer people around, the snow adds an extra challenge, and we won’t overheat or dehydrate as easily as we would during summer. Plus, we can appreciate the beautiful scenery of a snow-covered city.
2. Cross-Country Skiing
For a full-body workout, cross-country skiing is hard to beat. It engages all our muscles and requires serious endurance. While it may require more investment than other outdoor activities, such as buying equipment and finding a suitable location, it’s well worth it. We can also enjoy cross-country skiing with friends or as a competition.
3. Ice Skating
Ice skating is a low-impact exercise suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It strengthens our legs, especially the inner thighs, without putting stress on our joints. While there is a slight risk of sprains from falling, as long as we are careful, it’s a safe and fun way to stay active during winter.
4. Ice Hockey
For those living in colder climates, ice hockey is an excellent way to have fun while getting a good workout. With minimal equipment needed, such as skates and a stick, we can spend hours burning calories and enjoying some friendly competition.
5. Team Snowball Fights
To add more fun and social interaction to our workout, a team snowball fight can be a great option. We can engage in light to moderate cardio, including short bursts of running, throwing motions, and working our arms and core. Plus, snowball fights tend to last a long time, giving us plenty of opportunities to burn off those holiday calories.
6. Pulling Sleds
For those with children or visiting family with small children, pulling sleds is a fantastic way to have fun and engage in a good workout. By hauling a sled across the snow, we work our legs, core, and upper body while building up our stamina.
Hiking is a classic outdoor exercise that’s been around since ancient times and remains a great way to get in shape. However, it’s important to dress appropriately, have good hiking boots, and spend some time preparing, such as packing snacks and first aid supplies. A long hike can tire us out, particularly in cold weather, but we can reward ourselves with a big meal after all the effort.
8. Friendly Wrestling Match
For a faster-paced workout, a friendly wrestling match can be a surprisingly effective exercise that quickly tires us out. With the snow providing a natural cushion, we don’t have to worry too much about injuries, and we don’t need any prior knowledge of wrestling – just grab a partner and try to off-balance them and bring them to the ground.
In conclusion, these are some of the best activities to stay fit and active during the winter. However, don’t be afraid to create your unique outdoor exercise that suits your goals and preferences. The key thing is to stay active, healthy, and avoid hibernation during winter. By staying true to your fitness goals, the transition to spring and summer will be smoother and less daunting.