Finding ways to exercise during cold winter months can be a difficult task. The good news is there are several ways you can get yourself motivated to burn calories, stay healthy and have fun despite the cold.
We've listed a few ideas for you here.
1. Try an outdoor run.
Outdoor exercise provides a great energy boost while reducing anxiety, frustration, stress and tension. Biology illustrates that these effects are often intensified during the winter. All exercise produces adrenaline and allows the body to reduce endorphins, the feel-good hormone associated with "runner's high."
Because your body has to work a bit harder in the cold, endorphin production is even higher, causing for an even more fantastic post-run feeling. Just make sure to bundle up!
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2. Dust off the ice skates.
There are plenty of fitness benefits to ice skating that make it a great, fun way to get exercise during the winter. It is a low-impact form of exercise that improves your balance and coordination.
It also allows you to strengthen small, stabilizer muscles that help you in other activities such as running, skiing and yoga. While you skate you also tone larger muscles in your legs, glutes and core, providing an all-around terrific workout. Hit your local ice rink and try it out!
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3. Head to the ski hill.
Skiing is another exciting, effective way to get a winter workout. Skiing requires a great deal of strength, balance and flexibility and sharpens these skills as well.
The movement, steering and balance associated with skiing provide a total-body workout, activating arms and upper body, abdominals, obliques, back, hips, and nearly every lower body muscle. Skiing also produces terrific cardiovascular benefits, enacting those endorphins making you feel fantastic.
Image Source: Alain Bachellier via Flickr
4. Bring out the snow shoes.
Did you know that you can burn more calories snowshoeing than you can walking, running or cross-country skiing at the same pace? Snowshoeing packs an awesome cardio workout with movement that builds strength, agility, balance and endurance while burning 420-1000 calories an hour. It's a safe, low-impact form of exercise during which you can vary your intensity to really feel the burn.
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5. Go sledding!
Sledding is a fun, social activity the whole family can enjoy. Luckily it can also be a terrific workout for children and adults alike. Climbing up the sledding hill while tugging along a sled provides a great cardio blast if you do it often enough. Challenge yourself to a more intense ascent...your reward can be the thrilling ride down!
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However you choose to do it, make sure to get out and get active this winter. Exercise is an essential part of your digestive and overall health. For a few more ideas on Spring workouts to try as the weather warms up, check out these 10 Ways to Bring Your Gym Workout Outside This Spring.