Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Winter Fitness: Getting a Great Workout Outside During The Winter Months

Winter time.  It's cold outside, constantly snowing and the wind can be to much to handle at times.  When I think of winter I think of hot cocoa, warm fires, good books and staying inside where it is nice and warm.  I know I am not alone in this thinking.  There are days where I find it very difficult to bundle myself up in dozens of layers to go outside and enjoy what this time of year has to offer, but I must admit that I am always very thankful I took the time to do these activities once I am there and in the midst of doing them.  There is something about the crisp fresh air and beauty of the snow that is quite refreshing.  It breaks up the monotony of the winter months and has some great healthy fitness benefits too.  Listed below are a few great outdoor activities that are not only a lot of fun to do but also offer up a great workout as well.

  1. Ice Skating - Ice skating is all about balance, balance and more balance.  Much like a ballet dancer has to practice for hours en pointe to learn how to balance, an ice skater must learn the fine art of balancing their entire body on two tiny blades and some how look gracefully and stay upright.  This outdoor activity can be a great group or family activity to do during the winter and can offer up a pretty good work out.  Ice skating at a steady pace for one hour can give you a great leg work out as well as work on your core.  It can also burn up approximately 460 calories per hour!  Not bad for playing on the ice.
  2. Sledding - It might not seem like sledding would offer up a very good work out but consider this.  While you are sledding down the hill you are using your core muscles for balance and steering and climbing back up the hill is comparable to a hard core stair climber workout or squat workout.  Trekking up and down the hill for an hour can really target your glutes and legs and burn up approximately 362 calories per hour.
  3. Cross-Country Skiing - If you want a full body workout that targets your arms, legs and core this outdoor activity will deliver.  Cross-Country Skiing not only serves up a great cardio workout but is also very calming and serene.  This outdoor activity will burn enough calories in one hour (approximately 572 per hour) for you to be able to enjoy a nice hot cocoa when you make it back home!
  4. Snowshoeing - Of all the activities listed on this list this one not only burns the most calories in one hour but is also one of the simplest to learn.  If you know how to walk you are well on your way to knowing how to snowshoe.  This particular activity offers up an excellent cardio workout and can burn up to approximately 650-700 calories per hour going at a moderate pace.  

It is easy to see that these winter time activities can have some high impact on your cardio workout goals as well as being a lot of fun.  As far as weight loss and fitness goals are concerned there are few workouts that compare to the overall workout you can get from outdoor activities during the winter.  It is a great change of pace from just going to the gym and the fresh air is wonderful for your lungs and immune system.  So even though it is tempting to want to stay inside and hibernate during the winter I encourage you to instead get bundled up and get outside and try a few of these activities out.  Not only will your body thank you but it just might make winter more enjoyable and fun.

New Star Health Solutions is now offering a 11-Day Winter Detox Program that would go great with these outdoor activities.  It would be a great way to start off 2014 in the right direction.  Check it out and see what it can do for you!  Make this winter work for you so you are ready to rock in the summer!  


  1. Great post! this past weekend I did just that some hiking in the snow part of getting ready to do a half marathon. thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Grace! I am so glad you enjoyed the blog post. Hiking in the snow is a great way to get trained up for your half marathon! That is awesome that you are going to be in that! Great job!