Just because the temperature outside has dropped doesn’t mean that you have to bring all your Workouts indoors. There are some great workouts that you get to do when it is snowing and in the cold.
Before we get too far, stop for a second and realize there are some dangers of working out in the cold.
- Hypothermia – This is when a person is experiencing an abnormally low body temperature and should seek medical attention or care right away. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, extreme fatigue, slurred speech, or loss of coordination.
- Greater risk for strains and injuries – If you do not properly warm up your muscles before a cold-weather workout, you increase your chance for injuries.
- Dehydration – Because it is so cold, you are more likely to become dehydrated because the cold air compresses your natural thirst reaction.
- Sunburn – Just because you are going through the snow doesn’t mean that you are safe from sunburn. Apply sunscreen on any exposed skin.
If you are a runner at any other time of the year, you can keep up your running routine. In fact, there are studies that state that the cold temperatures can help reduce belly and thigh fat and help increase your overall calorie burn. Also, if you are training for a specific race, running in the cold will increase your endurance level, allowing you to run for longer periods of time without feeling the same fatigue level.
Grab your family or significant other and plan a day of ice skating. Skating will improve your balance and core muscles; it is also an excellent exercise for your heart. You can get your heart pumping by doing a few laps around the rink or simply from your fear of falling.
Many people who grew up in a northern climate might have fond memories of sledding on snow days. Sledding is actually a great exercise; all of that trudging up a hill just for those precious few seconds of sheer joy going down with the cold air whipping your cheeks will burn roughly 400 calories per hour. Add being a human ski lift for kiddos, and you end up getting a great cardio and leg workout.
Skiing or Nordic Skiing
When most people think of cold weather, they think about busting out the sleds; an excellent Winter workout is to bust out the skis. Whether you chose to complete the more traditional downhill Skiing or cross-country skiing, you are guaranteed to work out almost all legs muscles, get a cardiovascular workout, and work out your biceps. Nordic skiing, or cross-country skiing, has the potential of burning 735 calories an hour.
When most people think of snowshoeing, they think of those old wooden things that hang on the outside of rustic cabins as decorations. However, the snowshoe has come a long way since their wooden ancestors. Now, snowshoes are anodized-aluminum and have rugged decking materials. Taking a trail with snowshoes will work your thighs and hip flexors and burn anywhere between 300 to 840 calories per hour, depending on pace and incline.
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