As much as I use the gym as a necessarily evil, especially during the winter months, I try to avoid over-exposure to indoor cardio machines. My school of thought is that fitness should be fun or we won’t want to do it. Sure, there are days where workouts are just hard work, but they should be altered with pleasurable activities or we won’t stick to our plans. Whenever possible, I try to use the current season to my advantage and tie my workouts to that season. Summertime makes it easy – from tennis to rollerblading there are many outdoor cross-training activities to take advantage of. But what are some outdoor activities to enjoy during the winter weather? If you love to take advantage of ice, snow and overall winter beauty here are a few suggestions.
Ice Skating – From a deserted lake in the woods, to the crowds of central park, there ice skating is available all over the country. Even if you live in sunny Florida, there are indoor ice rinks. Ice skating activates completely different muscles, including the inner thighs and glutes – two areas that can be difficult to tone. There is also the balance component to skating – lean your weight on one leg, then the other slowly, feeling how centered your balance can be. I’m certainly not a figure skater (I’m a known klutz), but as an ex-ballerina and a yogini-in-training, I’ve found skating can center the body while still blasting fat.
Skiing – A day on the slopes torches thousands of calories and leaves thighs with that lovely I-killed-some-fat burning feeling. The best part about skiing is that it’s so much fun, you don’t realize you’re working your body…hard. By lunch, you’re hungrier than you ever are at lunch and by dinner, you might be ravenous from hours of carving turns. In my opinion, the best weight-loss plans involve fun activities. If hanging out with friends while skipping a day at the gym qualifies as fat-burning, skiing is my favorite way of doing it.
Shoveling – Not known for its fun factor, most look at shoveling as a necessary evil. It doesn’t need to be – put on some headphones, and zone out to your favorite music while clearing the driveway. Look at it from a positive light instead of a chore and the task will fly by quickly. This dreaded activity burns over 150 calories per half hour. Be a friendly neighbor and shovel your neighbors walkways – your body and your neighborhood will be grateful. You won’t feel cold because you’ll be breaking a sweat under your layers. In my opinion, snow is pretty and should be enjoyed – why look at it as inconvenience when it can be turned into a workout?
There are dozens of other winter activities, from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing. Find out what yours is and get out there as much as you can. You might cheer up from getting out of an enclosed house, and into the sun while doing your body the favor of outdoor exercise.