Brr! Can you feel it? There is a definite chill in the air. The snow has started to pile up on walkways, the temperatures are dropping, and it is well past time to drag out those oversized sweaters from the back of the closet. The fall and winter seasons can be wonderful…but they can also make fitness a little bit trickier. Especially if you are someone who prefers to exercise outdoors. Thankfully, there are many different ways to stay active in cold weather. These winter fitness tips and tricks will allow you to work up a sweat all season long.
Stay Active by Rethinking Your Workout
It is easy to fall into a workout rut. Maybe you start each Saturday morning with a hike on a nearby trail or you go for a run while listening to your favourite playlist. Now that the weather has started to change…it may also be time to change your workout. Instead of a more structured form of exercise, revamp your winter fitness routine to suit the season. For instance, swap out your walk around the block to shovel the driveway instead. After all, it needs to get done. Instead of looking at this task as a chore to check off your to-do list, reframe it, and look at snow shoveling as your brand-new winter workout. It is a fantastic way to stay active! In fact, it is estimated that you can burn between 230 and 280 calories for every half hour of snow shoveling. This activity works your legs, core, back, shoulders, and arms. Don’t have a driveway to shovel? No problem. Offer to shovel the driveway of a neighbour, loved one, or family friend after the next snowfall. Your body will thank you…and you will score some serious brownie points.
There are many other ways to rethink your workout and stay active. If you celebrate Christmas or just like to add a little extra glitz to your home during the winter season, it is possible to burn calories decorating. Hanging holiday lights off of the porch can be a form of exercise. You can also work up a sweat bringing the outdoor summer furniture into the garage, raking the last of the fall leaves, or doing a deep clean of the house. Instead of thinking about these sorts of tasks as chores, embrace them as part of your winter fitness routine. Also, if weather conditions prevent you from heading to the gym for your regular sweat session, simply move it indoors. Put on a workout DVD or check out some free options on YouTube. There are so many options!
Embrace Seasonal Activities
What better way to stay active and have fun than to embrace all of the activities associated with this time of year? Not only are outdoor activities enjoyable, but they can also push you out of your comfort zone a little bit. Additionally, they can be done on your own or with someone special. It is possible to incorporate these activities into a date night or an afternoon with friends. Since there are many benefits to working out with someone else (it tends to be more enjoyable, you are more likely to follow through with the plan to exercise if someone else will be joining you, and you work a little harder when you have company) …so, it only stands to reason that inviting someone to join you will make your seasonal workout even better.
Cross country skiing is one seasonal activity to try. It will allow you to stay active in cold weather, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Plus, it burns between 450 and 600 calories per hour. Ice skating is another popular option. There are likely lots of indoor and outdoor rinks to choose from in your area now that the temperatures have started to drop. The average person burns anywhere from 400 and 800 calories per hour ice skating. It all depends on your intensity and overall fitness level. If you enjoy being on the ice, you can also consider joining an amateur hockey league or playing a casual game with some friends. Do what you can to make the most of the season. Instead of looking at the snow and frost as a burden, think about the ways that you can use the snow and ice to your advantage. There are many seasonal activities to try this year.
Bundle Up and Take a Winter Walk
There are countless advantages to walking regularly. It is good for your body and mind! Though most people avoid being outdoors once the late fall season hits…there is no reason to stay away from nature altogether. Just remember to be safe. Put on a warm winter jacket, a pair of thick gloves, a hat, and a good pair of boots. The latter is especially important. Make sure you choose a pair of boots that will keep you safe and sturdy during your walk. Once you are nice and toasty, it is time to reconnect with nature. This doesn’t have to be a traditional walk or hike where you are in the woods or are out for a long period of time. Keep it short and sweet.
Some examples? Take the dog for a walk around the block or meet up with a neighbor for a quick stroll. Once houses are decorated for the season, you can also round up your family members and walk from home to home, looking at all of the different light displays. Another option is to take a nature walk. Head to a local park or trail and make sure you bring a camera with you. Snap lots of photos of the snow-covered trees and really take a moment to connect with nature. After all, it is such a beautiful time of year. Still looking for ways to make your winter walk meaningful? Stay active and focus on your spirituality at the same time by listening to a spiritually themed audio book while you walk, keep a crystal in your pocket, take time to recommit to your goals, or recite positive affirmations out loud. You can make your winter walk anything you want it to be. The whole point is to move your body, even when it is cold outside.
Stay Active All Season Long!
Spring and summer are certainly a lot of fun…but fall and winter are equally memorable. There are many ways to stay active and embrace all of the magic and wonder that this time of year has to offer. Will you rethink your workout, try out some fun seasonal activities, or take a winter walk? Aim to add at least one of these suggestions to your to-do list.