Resist the urge to hibernate this season and plan a getaway instead to take advantage of winter sports. Whether you prefer the thrills of downhill skiing or the quiet peace of a snowshoe expedition, winter sports offer unique advantage to your fitness journey.
Health Benefits of Winter Sports
- Most winter sports require continuous cardio, which keeps your heart rate up and helps to burn more calories.
- Working out in cold weather requires more energy so that your body can stay warm. This also burns more calories.
- Wearing heavy layers like coats also increases your energy output and calories burned.
- You’ll sweat less while working out in the cold, which can inspire you to stay out longer.
- Winter sports feel like playtime, which makes exercising fun!
What’s Your Favorite Winter Sport?
1. Downhill Skiing
Skiing works your core/abs as well as lower body muscles: inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. It also improves your balance and endurance – and the epic views will elevate your mood, too! Calories burned per hour: 273 for a 120-lb woman or 340 for 150-lb woman.
Snowboarding works all the major muscles, and some you didn’t even know you had (just ask a beginner the day after their first lesson). Quads, hamstrings, and calves are used to stay upright on the board – and you’ll also be working out those upper body muscles to get up after a fall. Calories burned per hour: 273 for a 120-lb woman or 340 for 150-lb woman.
3. Cross-Country Skiing
You’ll get a full-body workout with cross-country skiing, which works the upper and lower body. By balancing the stress between muscle groups, cross-country skiing can be enjoyed for hours – making it an excellent aerobic workout for improving cardio-vascular health. Calories burned per hour: 382 for a 120-lb woman or 476 for 150-lb woman.
4. Ice Skating
Ice skating tones your thighs and calves while improving your balance and relieving your stress. Skating is also an easy way to get a great cardio workout without really feeling like you are working out. Calories burned per hour: 327 for a 120-lb woman or 408 for 150-lb woman.
One of the easiest snow sports to learn, sledding is a full-body workout with a thrilling payoff: the ride down! Climbing up those snow-covered hills will improve your endurance, strength, and core stability. Calories burned per hour: 327 for a 120-lb woman or 408 for 150-lb woman.
Explore tranquil, snow-covered trails while getting a great lower body workout. Snowshoeing tones up your abs, thighs, and calves. Use poles to exercise your upper body as well. Calories burned per hour: 382 for a 120-lb woman or 476 for 150-lb woman.
7. Ice Hockey
Hockey’s fast-paced action helps blaze the calories and build cardiovascular endurance. The stop-and-start action mimics high-intensity interval training, which can boost your metabolism even after the game is over. You’ll also improve your hand-eye coordination! Calories burned per hour: 436 for a 120-lb woman or 544 for 150-lb woman.
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