Top 10 Workouts for Cold Days
When winter weather hits, it can seem like the perfect excuse to stay inside and do nothing. Unfortunately, this can lead to holiday weight gain, weak muscles, and an inability to get back into your healthy habits once the snow clears and the holiday feast ends. Science Daily reports: “Previous studies show that as little as one week of overeating can impair glycemic control and insulin sensitivity. Just in time for holiday feasting, a new study finds that exercise can protect fat tissue from changes in inflammation levels and fat metabolism caused by a brief period of eating too many calories.”
Try these 10 great ways to get in shape this winter and see for yourself that working out on cold days can be just as fun.
1. Try Snowboarding
This may be counted among adrenaline lovers as an extreme sport, but it can also be quite tame. Take a lesson at your local ski hill, and after the first thirty minutes of trying to balance on this board you’ll feel the burn. Snowboarding works your thighs, glutes, and abdomen all at once, not to mention your arms and shoulders.
2. Take a Snowy Hike
Winter is a great time to get back into nature, especially if you have hiking trails nearby. Dress in layers for the weather, pack the proper provisions, and hit the trails with a friend. Winter brings some wildlife you just can’t see during the summer months, and absolutely nothing beats the serenity of a snow-covered forest.
3. Snowshoeing for Fun
It might sound like something you’d only have to do in the arctic, but you can snowshoe for fun if there’s enough of the fluffy stuff on the ground. Check with your local sporting goods store to see if they have any connections for snow shoes, and take a stroll to see what a difference it makes to your daily walk.
You will lift your knees higher, work your thighs harder, and really get your arms pumping to move.
4. Shop ‘til You Drop
The holidays are a time for giving, which essentially means spending more time shopping than you do all year. Fortunately, shopping can be a great way to burn calories, without even knowing you’re doing it. Just remember to skip the food court food, and stick to healthy snacks while you power through the mall.
5. Build a Snowman
It may sound childish, but this family friendly activity gets you squatting, pushing, pulling, lifting, and trudging around through the snow. As an bonus to this activity, you get to spend some much-needed time with friends and family, while also getting fresh air and exercise.
6. Hit the Ice
Whether playing ice hockey, or gliding around for fun, ice skating is a great winter way to stay in shape, even while it’s cold. Grab a stick and start a game, or visit a local rink in your mitts and hat, and show everyone what all those years of figure skating lessons did for you as a kid.
7. Join a Boot Camp
You don’t have to go outside to get fit during the winter, instead, join a local boot camp for added support and motivation. Alana Brager of Active.com writes: “The benefits of boot camp are astounding and it's one of the best ways to burn fat and lose weight. The intervals between strength training and cardio exercises can have you burning up to 600 calories in a one-hour session. You're not only getting in your aerobic workout, but you also build muscles with weights.”
This is a great way to kick start a weight loss routine, or to make up for second helpings during holiday dinner.
8. Try Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing is fun and a workout. This low impact sport gets you legs and arms moving, and unlike downhill skiing, you must do all the work for yourself.
9. Take the Family Sledding
Another family friendly activity this winter is found at the old sledding hill. Take the kids for a day of fun and a workout for you. Pull them up the slope, and walk back down to meet them at the bottom. You’ll pass out that night the moment your head hits the pillow.
10. Visit the Local Pool
Swimming can be a winter sport too. Take a trip to the pool, and warm up with a few laps, or diving exercises. Caitlin Carlson of Runner’s World explains: “Because water is 800 times denser than air, you’ll work opposing muscles more than you would on land, says Ellen Nordberg, a water-running instructor in Colorado.”
Plus, as a bonus, you can visit the sauna after your dip to heat it, and enjoy some steam before hitting the showers.
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