5 Winter Olympic Sports That Mere Mortals Can Try

5 Winter Olympic Sports That Mere Mortals Can Try

The Winter Olympics land in South Korea this month, and with so many talented and toned athletes performing at their peak, there’s no wonder we often feel so inspired while watching them.

In honor of the Games, we came up with a list of Winter Olympic approved sports that any normal person can do — meaning little to no experience is required but a colder climate is.

Though you might not win a gold medal (or, let’s be honest, any medal), you will no doubt have fun, burn some calories, and have a newfound appreciation for our Olympic team who make these sports look so easy to do.

1. Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing is an aerobic endurance activity, meaning you’ll boost your heart rate and burn some calories as you’re zooming downhill. And because you’re relying on your legs and core to keep you upright, it’s both a killer lower body and ab workout. Beginners, you’ll also get an additional leg workout if you’re climbing up the bunny hill instead of taking the (more advanced level) ski lift.

2. Bobsled

Okay, so actual bobsleds can travel as fast as 90 mph on curved tracks, which is understandably not recommended for amateurs. However, the closest thing to a bobsled is also one of the most enjoyable winter activities out there — sledding. Trudging up and down the hill will get your heart pumping, as well as activate and strengthen your legs and glutes. Not to mention, it will make you feel like a kid again!

3. Ice Hockey

You don’t need to be in the NHL to enjoy a good pick-up game at the local ice rink. Ice hockey is an excellent form of cardio and an awesome full body workout. From your core– keeping you balanced, to your quads helping you skate, to the shoulders and triceps working to grip the hockey stick, you’re working every inch of your body here.

4. Curling

Although it’s not one of the flashiest sports at the Games, curling is one of the most strategic. Often referred to as “chess on ice,” this sport not only works your mind but also your bod, and is way harder than it looks. The running back and forth on the ice will definitely increase your heart rate, and since curling requires being in a constant squatting position, you’re consistently strengthening your calves, glutes, and quads.

5. Snowboarding

Snowboarding is not only super fun, but it also works all the major muscle groups — quads, core, glutes — as well as the smaller ones, like calves, and the muscles in your feet and ankles, which help to keep your board gliding. And because it’s also a cardio activity, you’re burning as many as 300-600 calories an hour.

The Takeaway

You definitely don’t need to travel halfway across the world to try out these Winter Olympic sports, or be a pro athlete for that matter. With the right attitude, and, of course, warm clothing, you too can work up an Olympian sweat.

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Brianne Hogan is a Canadian writer, currently based in Prince Edward Island. A self-proclaimed "wellness freak," she has a... More about Brianne Hogan