Cold weather is often a deterrent for certain exercises. Running on icy pavements can be dangerous, and hiking, exploring trails, mountain biking, and other similar heart-pumping activities are better left for warmer temperatures. But there are still plenty of ways you can burn calories during winter! Here are our top 6 winter activities to help get your heart pumping.
Important: Regardless of your fitness level, remember to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water when you're performing any activity.
The first snowfall is a beautiful canvas of bright, fresh powder. But when the snow settles, someone needs to clear your pavement or driveway. Shoveling snow is a great dual-purpose winter activity—a chore that also gets your heart pumping!
Tips for Shoveling:
• Bend with your knees
• Maintain a wide base
• Keep your back straight
• Wear boots and gloves
• Track your heart rate (two fingers on your pulse and count for 1 min.)
• Drink water
• Shovel at your own pace
• Take frequent breaks
You can really turn up the intensity with an old-fashioned snowball fight! Snowball fights engage your entire body. Whether you’re throwing, ducking, running, or jumping in the snow, you'll be using arm, legs, back, and shoulder muscles.
Recovery Tip: Eat a protein-heavy meal after your workout to repair your muscle tears.
Cleaning the ice and snow off your car is another cold-weather activity that can’t be avoided. But it can substitute as an effective winter workout.
To maximize the use of your back and arm muscles, hold the snow brush firmly in two hands and make long, sweeping motions as far as you can reach. Your car's front and back windshields, and the top of your car, are ideal surfaces to perform this motion. Aim for three to five reps or more depending on your fitness level (and amount of snow on your car).
When chipping away at the ice on your windshield, hold the snow scraper firmly in two hands and thrust down in short bursts at a 45-degree angle.
A traditional winter activity, ice skating can be both a great workout and a leisurely activity. Most ice rinks allow you to rent skates at an affordable price so you can spend as much time as you want burning calories. Ice skating is ideal for both small and large groups, and even if your skating skills aren't the best, you'll still get a great workout!
Not all winter activities need to be outside. And while yoga can be done any time of the year, it can be especially rewarding in the cozy confines of your home or a yoga studio.
You can burn up to 500 calories doing yoga, and there are several different types of yoga you can choose from, depending on your fitness level and preference. Feeling shy about doing yoga at a studio? Get your heart pumping at home by downloading a yoga video or streaming from YouTube.
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