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7 Ways to Burn Calories in the Winter

7 Ways to Burn Calories in the Winter

You don’t have to spend winter cooped up inside eating cookies—at least not all the time. Though the weather may be colder and it’s not the beach season, there are still numerous ways to stay active apart from going to the gym. The following are winter activities where you’ll burn calories and have fun in a challenging season.

1. Skiing

Skiing is the quintessential winter sport. Two of the main types of skiing are downhill and cross-country. According to Livestrong, an adult skiing downhill for an hour at a casual pace burns between 250 and 510. If you shift to a moderate speed, you can burn 100 more calories per hour. Downhill skiing engages your core, legs, and arms and strengthens your muscles.

Cross-country is harder but burns more calories. You use skis and poles on flat or hilly ski trails. Women’s Health reports that if you’re in good shape, you can burn up to 20 calories a minute or over 1,000 an hour. 

Cross country is an excellent full-body workout. It works your shoulders, upper back, triceps, core, and upper biceps. You use your core, legs, quads, glutes, and thighs for the lower half. Cross-country is great for obliques since you use your poles to twist and turn.

2. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is walking on snow with large snowshoes. It’s a lower-impact, social winter sport where your shoes allow you to travel on top of snow rather than through it.

According to Intermountain Healthcare, you can burn more calories by snowshoeing than mountain biking or running, depending on your speed and terrain. You can burn around 472 calories per hour. If you choose a hilly trail and move three miles per hour, you can burn anywhere from 774 to 1,000 calories.

3. Ice skating

Ice skating would probably win if there’s an award for the most elegant winter sport. Who hasn’t been in awe of Olympic skaters as they jump, glide, and twist music? However, you don’t have to be a Scott Hamilton or Michelle Kwan to have fun and get a great workout. It can be a family, group, solo, or date activity.

Ice skating can burn at least 400 calories an hour. You strengthen your ankles, which are easy to overlook. Posture is critical for skating; therefore, you use your oblique, core, and lower back for stability. You also use the glutes to push off, drive, and glide.

4. Snowboarding

Snowboarding is enjoyable because it’s like surfing down the mountain while you enjoy beautiful outdoor scenery. Mercy Health says you burn anywhere from 350 to 650 calories per hour, whether casually boarding or zooming downhill. You use your legs, ankles, and core to balance your body.

Which is best for beginners – skiing or snowboarding? Overall, people say skiing is easier but more challenging to master. Snowboarding’s learning curve is shorter, and it has a unique culture. If you’re feeling ambitious, try both and see which one you like more. 

5. Sledding

You don’t have to leave sledding in your childhood. Sledding can burn up to 400 calories an hour, especially if you walk uphill. Almost anyone can sled; you don’t need to take lessons or have many skills or training.

Sledding is one activity that people have more fun than working out. However, you can ramp up the calorie burn by choosing and walking up steep hills or carrying two sleds at once. Race your friends and family or create an obstacle course for your pleasure.

6. Shoveling snow

When you can’t get to the gym because you have piles of snow in front of your house, turn a dreaded chore into a workout! Shoveling snow can burn around 340 calories an hour. 

Shoveling doesn’t necessarily mean scooping and dumping snow out of the driveway. Even digging your car out requires energy and strength. To optimize the calorie burn, do short bursts of shoveling at faster speeds and rest between intervals. The heaviness and wetness of the snow will add resistance.

7. Snow tubing

Like sledding, snow tubing doesn’t need much skill or lessons. It’s not quite as vigorous as skiing or snowboarding, but it is still an excellent workout. Outdoor Alive says it can burn at 200 to 300 calories.

Snow tubing is when you slide down a hill on an inflatable snow tube. You might want to try it at a snow tubing park rather than your backyard for safety. Carrying the tube up and down a hill adds to the calorie burn. Take your friends or family and have a laugh as you “float” down a snowy hill.

A great activity is so enjoyable or engaging that it doesn’t feel like exercise. All of the items on this list have that quality. Try one or more activities this winter. They’ll get your heart pumping and calories burning and put a smile on your face in a tough season. 

For questions about fitness, activities, and health, contact us.