When darkness comes early, the bitter cold and grey skies can wreak havoc on your motivation to exercise during the winter months.
We can all agree that it’s way easier to stay in bed or on the couch in a comfy sweatshirt and sweatpants, rather than changing into lightweight workout gear to exercise.
However, the cold months are a great opportunity to embark on the journey of trying new workouts or embracing exercise through other methods and making the most of the cold!
Here’s a list of the best way to burn calories during the winter:
1. Shoveling Snow
Some consider inches of snow as a hassle, but I see it as an opportunity to work some muscles that don’t typically get attention.
Harvard’s Medical School estimates you can burn 223 calories per 30 minutes of snow shoveling. If your own driveway/sidewalk doesn’t take 30 minutes, consider shoveling a neighbor’s driveway or sidewalk – bonus points with your neighbors!
In addition to being a great cardio workout, depending on the intensity that you’re working, shoveling also works muscles in the legs, back, shoulders and arms.
And the heavier the snow, the better the workout!
A favorite childhood past-time, sledding is a HUGE calorie burner. You can burn approximately 480 calories per hour sledding – and an hour goes fast when you’re having so much fun!
While hills are easy going down, walking up to the top is going to do wonders for your legs and butt. Plus, the cardio effects are tremendous.
Visit your local Walmart, invest in a cheap sled or toboggan and go kill those hills. No children required, but if you have them or can borrow a few, you will make a kid’s day while getting your workout in.
Bonus calories for pulling a child up the hill!
3. Take a Peaceful Winter Wonderland Walk
Ever notice how quiet it is outside during the winter months? Especially after 8 PM when people are done with work or after work activities and are curled up inside. While you may prefer a warm and sunny walk, a winter walk can actually be quite peaceful.
The tranquilness of darkness, merged with the brightness of the moon reflecting off the snow is a fantastic time to burn some calories walking, while reflecting on the day.
Grab those snow boots, bundle up and enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors this time of year.
Plus, you’re burning more calories walking in the winter vs walking outside in the summer. This is due to the extra weight of clothing and the energy needed to warm the body up.
4. Ice Skating
For a large part of my adult life, I was intimidated by ice-skating. As a slightly uncoordinated person, I drove past my local outdoor rink, jealous of all the skaters having a blast.
But once I embarked on the ice, after a couple times around the rink, holding the edges, it was easy! And I was sore – especially my core and legs. So I knew it was a great workout.
This calorie burner can burn around 400 calories per hour!
Plus, ice skating can be made into a social event or go on your own!
5. Try a New Fitness Class
Winter is the absolute best time to get out and try new fitness classes at your local gym or studio.
Many of us will admit that when it gets dark at 5 PM, finding projects around the home or going out to a social gathering is pretty much not going to happen.
What better way to spend the dark nights than to get out and try a new fitness class. Especially when you may have just been watching TV on the couch, burning next to zero calories anyways!
New classes are popping up every day, so go out and try something new, like a Barre, Yoga, Cardio, Chisel, or a HIIT class.
With new year’s resolutions, classes will likely be busy with many new people, so the intimidation factor is low. Plus, you’ll probably make a few new friends!