When the weather turns colder, it can be tough to get yourself outside for a workout. Plus, it’s dark in the morning and evening, sapping even more motivation. But although it’s chilly, sticking to your workouts will pay off big time.
Ahead, find out how to up the calorie burn this winter while also staying motivated to keep showing up to your workouts.
Exercising in the cold can be a blast — and it’s a nice way to switch things up. Here’s how you can make the most of it, whether you’re seeking a solo workout, an exercise that’s more play than work, or a good time with friends.
Just snowed? Pop in a podcast and get out there with your shovel. A half-hour of snow shoveling burns 191 calories for a person who’s 140 pounds, according to the calculator from the Calorie Control Council. The next day, don’t be surprised if you’re wondering why your shoulders and arms are so sore. Just remember to use proper form when lifting snow, relying on your legs for help (not your back).
Sled With The Kids
There’s a lot of work — and laughter — that goes into trudging up a sled hill with your kids for a quick ride down. Repeat that for an hour, and you’ve torched 445 calories. Plus, you’ll leave with a happy winter memory of a whole lot of laughter from accidentally sliding down backwards or gently running into a snowbank. Bonus: You get to warm up with almond milk hot chocolates with the kiddos afterwards.
You don’t need to go to a ski hill to ski. Cross-country skiing is an amazing full-body, intense cardio workout that burns more than 500 calories per hour. You will really push yourself while cross-country skiing, but you’re surrounded by so much natural beauty (snow-capped trees! Deer, and bunny tracks!) that you’ll get a big mood boost just by being out there.
Why not take onerous tasks and make them count as your workout for the day? If you live in a cold climate and love a good fireplace moment, you’re going to be buying firewood. Taking the time to stack it on the side of your house for the winter burns about 160 calories in a half-hour. And you’ve just checked off two things for the day.
Go Ice Skating
Unless you grew up ice skating as a kid, you’ll probably fall on your butt a few times. And that’s okay! In fact, it’ll make the whole event even more enjoyable. (More laughs = Better time.) An hour of ice skating torches about 450 calories.
Taking a Walk Outside
Grab your neighbor and head out for a walk. All you need is to dress for the weather, meaning wear thick gloves, a scarf, a warm hat, and a big coat — whatever you need to feel comfortable on the go. Another idea: Plan to meet at your local coffee shop, grab a hot beverage, and then head out for a walk around the area. The promise of a latte (and some good convo) may be all you need to get out there.
Sticking it Out Indoors
Sometimes, the weather is terrible. It’s below zero. The wind is whipping you around. It’s sleeting or snowing heavily — no need to try to tough it out. Stick with your go-to Virtual At Home workout in your living room, whether that’s a Barre workout, a sweaty Power 45 session, or a Zumba® Class. Bonus: You can wear whatever you like.