Even if it is cold outside, you do not have to allow the cold to lock you up in the house preventing you from getting active outside. Provided that you dress well in layers to protect your feet, hands, and ears, you and your family will comfortably step out for outdoor winter exercises.
According to research, winter activities, especially when the ground is snowy are very important. It is believed that such exercises help to strengthen ‘balance’ muscles due to the uneven and slick surfaces.
There is an unending list of indoor activities that you can engage yourself in and remain fit with the cold weather. Keep reading through this post to learn the different winter exercises that will keep you busy and active throughout the winter season.
What are Winter Exercises?
In some places, winter is normally characterized by very low temperatures, freezing rain, snow, and harsh winds. There are other places that have positive degree temperatures but even with that, winter remains a cold period. For that reason, you might feel discouraged to involve yourself in outdoor activities.
It is a no-brainer that people need to bundle up their boots, jackets, and sweaters before stepping out in such weather. This way, you will be able to exercise despite the harsh weather. Winter exercises are simply activities that you involve yourself in during winter to keep fit. These include both indoor and outdoor activities.
You will get to know all about these exercises but before that, it is good to understand whether these exercises are worth it.
Why Winter Exercises are Important
You should not get into hibernation mode simply because it is snowy and cold outside. Even though many people find it very hard to remain motivated amid winter, there are so many surprising benefits that winter exercises have to offer. Below are some of these benefits:
- Increasing endurance- During cold temperatures, your heart does not have to pump as hard as in summer. You sweat less and you will be expending less energy.
- Helps to burn more fat- When you exercise in the cold, you will be able to burn two times the amount of fat you can burn in normal conditions. According to research, when sarcolipin (a peptide in our muscles) has been activated during cold weather exercises, the body burns more fat.
- Keeps you safe from getting SAD- Regular exercise protects against seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Research has it that people can manage and avoid the condition by exercising for 30 to 60 minutes and getting sunlight exposure for 20 minutes daily.
What are the Examples of Winter Exercises?
As you can see how beneficial winter exercises can be, let us have a deeper look at some winter exercises examples below.
Uphill Skiing (Or Skinning)
This is something that people do during winter. When skinning, you will be firing up your hamstrings, quads, and glutes for every step that you make. The upper arms, triceps, upper back, and shoulders will also receive some workout since you are using poles. To make sure that your lower back and the core work, you need to maintain your posture.
This is yet another winter exercise that will be great for family fitness. The same case with skiing, what determines the number of calories you burn is the speed and the period of time you do ice skating. One advantage that ice skating has over skiing is that it is not costly. You will get skates for rent from most rinks in case you do not own one. Here, you will only pay for the skate rental charge.
Other than being fun for family fitness, snowshoeing offers a complete body workout. It helps to strengthen the leg muscles while keeping your heart pumping and supplying oxygen to your lungs. At a moderate speed, a person weighing 150 pounds could lose around 270 calories in just 30 minutes.
Here, you will not be using poles. As such, the main work for your arms will be holding them out on the sides. You ought to know that snowboarding is a good exercise for the core muscles and the lower body.
Looking around at professional skiers, you automatically know that any skier has to have strong legs. The reason for that is that this activity depends on the inner thighs, outer thighs, and hips to help you move in your desired direction. Since the knees will be bent when skiing, your quads will similarly be activated.
We don’t necessarily recommend going out to do yoga in freezing cold. But, if you are fully dressed in warm clothes, then why not give it a try? According to experts, the activity that will passively burn the most calories is shivering. This, therefore, means that you will be burning a huge chunk of calories to keep warm. Better still, your body will not be losing any water through sweating.
The long outdoor runs shouldn’t stop simply because there is some snow on the ground. It is a fact that running is one of the greatest ways to rev the heart any season of the year. It will burn between 566 and 839 calories every hour. When running under snowy conditions, make sure to wear warmer running clothes. You also need to ensure that your shoes offer very serious traction.
Scenic Hike or Walk
A brisk walk will be a good way of enjoying nature with the snow outside. When you walk at a pace that is fast enough, the heart rate increases and serves benefits like running. In an hour, you can be sure to burn 300 to 450 calories. Similarly, a winter walk is beneficial for mental health.
This exercise triggers you to use several muscle groups that steer you when speeding down the hills. You will similarly exert effort as you walk with the sled back to the hill so that you can get down again. Precisely, walking up the hill is where you reap the most benefits since that is an aerobic exercise great for leg muscles. The amount of calories you will be burning in this activity depends on the hill’s steepness and the number of back-and-forth trips you make.
The Bottom Line
Most people are reluctant to exercise during the cold winter season. However, even with the harsh winter weather, you have no reason not to remain fit. As you can see that there are lots of benefits of exercising during winter.
We have discussed some of the exercises that you can try out during winter to reap the benefits. However, you need to dress up well before stepping out for winter outdoor activities.