It’s winter and it’s cold. We get it. But do you really want to be carrying a bunch of excess weight around when Memorial Day gets here, all because you didn’t want to go outside? if you’re in a cold part of the world, it’s time to stop fearing the weather, and instead embrace it when it comes to staying fit. There are quite a few activities you are only able to do during the cold weather, so you should take advantage of it while you have the chance - these three activities will help you to do just that.
Curling up under a blanket and watching TV in the climate-controlled confines of your home may seem nice now, but will leave you regretting the decision when spring is here and you find that your love handles have tripled in size. Instead of dreading going out in the chilly conditions, why not embrace it? There are several activities that are exclusive to the winter time. That means that, if you don’t take advantage of them now, you will have wait another whole year for the opportunity.
If you have ever been ice skating before, you know that it can be a pretty intense workout. It not only serves as an aerobic exercise, but is also a great way to strengthen your legs and core. In cold-weather cities, you can head out to your local pond if it has frozen over - taking care, of course, to make sure that the ice is thick enough to make for safe skating. If the weather is a little warmer, or you don’t want to risk falling in, you are likely to find indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks available as well.
Those new to ice skating should think about signing up for a skating class in order to get a better idea of the fundamentals. Ice skating is much like riding a bicycle, in that it is difficult to learn at first but is a skill that will stay with you once you know what you are doing. Don't get embarrassed when you fall down, either. It happens to everyone, even experienced skaters, so there is no need to stress over it.
Sure, downhill skiing gets all the glory but, when it comes to burning calories in the winter, you won’t beat cross-country skiing. You can expect to burn anywhere from 400 to 800 calories an hour on average. It’s also a full-body exercise, where your legs, arms, core and back will all be tested. You can vary your speed from walking level to a sprint if you really want to put yourself through your paces.
Cross-country skiing is done on trails, and beginners in particular will want to look for groomed trails to help lead the way, as these are easier to navigate. Newbies might also want to consider going out with an experienced skier on their first few times, in order to learn the ropes. However, it’s possible to teach yourself the basics of the activity by using books or instructional videos. Finally, it is smart to rent cross country ski equipment for your first few times before buying it outright, in order to be sure that it’s something you like doing. Most ski shops and ski resorts will have rental equipment available.
Walk your dog
If you have a dog, they will need to go outside at some point during the day. Instead of making the trip strictly about business, why not incorporate some exercise for you and your four-legged friend? Chances are both of you will enjoy it, and you probably need the workout anyway. A morning jog with your dog is a great way to knock two things - exercise and taking the dog out - off your to-do list at once. More importantly, having your dog around will see you pay more attention to them and not the cold weather.
Things to consider
Whatever exercise you decide to take part in during the winter, it’s vital to dress appropriately. While layers are important, a lot of us tend to overdress and end up feeling too hot during the workout. Another problem during the winter is dehydration. Many of us tend to forget this, since we don’t sweat as much when it’s cold outside, but your body still loses the same amount of water, which must be replaced. Finally, make sure you properly warm up and stretch out before participating in any outdoor activity during the winter. Failing to do so will likely lead to injury, including muscles strains and joint issues.
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