Wintertime is upon us, and weight loss and fitness is the number one New Years Resolution. But just because the air is cold outside and snow decorates our landscape, don’t think that achieving and maintaining your weight loss and fitness goals means you have to be restricted to only indoor activities. In fact, it’s as easy as just starting to think more like a kid again. HAVE FUN!
Remember how excited you got as a kid when you had a snow day that kept the schools closed, and you got to play outside all day in the snow? Well it’s time to have a flashback. While you may be enjoying your indoor yoga, strength training and other exercise regimens, don’t limit yourself to only indoor activities. By mixing up our fitness lifestyle with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, you are helping yourself stay motivated, as well as bring some more fun and playfulness back into your life. Not to mention spending more quality-time with your family and friends.
So dig out those snow boots, extra scarves, mittens and hats, and let’s go have some outdoor winter fun. You’ll totally forget that you’re also achieving weight loss and fitness at the same time.
As with any and all changes to your nutrition and / or exercise regimens, be sure to always consult with your doctor before embarking on any new or newly resumed activity that may affect your health. You are not trying to be an Olympic athlete, you are just participating in activities at whatever level of fitness you are currently in. There is no competition factor here. Just commit to partaking in these fun winter activities, and you are guaranteed to see beneficial changes in your body, and well as to your mind and spirit. You’ll lose and maintain weight, increase muscle tone, elevate cardiac endurance, realize increased flexibility, decrease and eliminate stress, improve mental clarity, relieve sleep disturbances, and so much more. With so many benefits to gain while having fun, what are you waiting for?
Not only will you burn an average of 400-500 calories per hour, you’ll also be building and toning muscles by walking up those hills, in addition to building up your cardiac endurance.
BUILD A SNOWMAN
Go grab a carrot, a tattered scarf and hat, and bring Frosty back to life. Building a snowman burns close to 300 calories per hour, so why not go ahead and build an entire snowman family. Or you can have a contest to see who can build the largest snowball. You’ll be doing some good old-fashioned strength training, as you are rolling around that giant ball of compacted snow.
HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT
Grab your family and friends, and have a good-natured snowball fight. Depending on how aggressive you are while playing, you’ll burn between 300-400 calories per hour. This is great for stress and tension relief as well.
SKIING OR SNOWBOARDING
For those who enjoy either of these winter activities, you will burn between 300-600 calories per hour. You will also be getting the benefits of muscle definition and cardiac endurance. And be sure to always wear a helmet.
Lace-up those skates and head on down to your local ice-skating rink or nearby frozen lake. (Do make sure the ice is thick enough first.) You will burn an amazing 400-500 calories per hour. You’ll also be toning those legs, and strengthening your core muscles (stomach and lower back), while balancing on those blades.
To enjoy a nice nature walk while walking on top of the snow, you can try some snowshoeing. Don’t underestimate this activity. You will burn an average of 500-600 calories per hour. Dress in layers, as your body will quickly heat up. Be sure to always carry a backpack with a first aid kit, plenty of water and other important survival gear.
SHOVELING SNOW or SPLITTING FIREWOOD (ok…these may not be your favorite, but the fitness payoff will encourage you)
While shoveling snow or splitting logs for the fire may not rank high on your favorite winter activity list, the fitness benefits just may encourage you to do either with a lot less dread. Both activities burn an average of no less than 400 calories per hour. You get whole-body muscle toning as well as cardiac toning. You’ll be fit, have a clear driveway and sidewalk, and lots of wood to enjoy a cozy winter’s night in front of the fireplace. And to help entice the kids to join in, have them shovel a maze walkway in the backyard to play in.
Some Additional Winter Activities To Enjoy
There are many common summer activities you can enjoy in the winter, and yes even in the snow. In fact you’ll burn more calories because of the resistance your body is accommodating for, while moving, running and maneuvering in the snow. So don’t let the so-called “off season” stop you from enjoying these fun activities.
Have a Game of Flag or Touch Football
Enjoy a Friendly Round of Tug-Of-War
Toss a Football or Baseball Back-And-Forth
Throw a Frisbee Around
Play Some Badminton (although you might not be able to put up the net)
So when it comes to winter fitness, it’s not only easy to accomplish, it’s just downright FUN. And when an activity brings you enjoyment, you are much more likely to make it a regular part of your health and wellness lifestyle.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews