Supercharge your cardio routine with these wintry weight-loss-boosting activities.
Snow does not need to be a barrier to your ongoing health and fitness goals—let the snow work for you. Taking your cardio workouts outdoors is not only a whole lot of fun, it’s also one of the best ways to boost your metabolism, challenge your core sans crunches, improve endurance, plus battle back stress and anxiety. So, go ahead—liberate your inner snow bunny from the confines of your four walls, bundle up, take a deep breath, and head outside. These five workouts are a sure-fire way to blast more fat, and give your upper- and lower-body muscles a wintery wallop.
Don’t hang up your running shoes, just because it’s snowing. Feel the crunch of the freshly fallen snow beneath your feet and do some winter running. Running in the snow can be a great cardio workout while burning extra calories—calories to run and calories to stay warm. Kick it up a notch and put on your trendiest sweat-wicking layers, then face the elements head on. While the rest of the population has come to a standstill, be the first to put your best foot forward and embrace this awesome gift of nature.
Benefits: Running on snow requires more effort than dry, flat surfaces. It works your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles. And because you’re stepping on uneven surfaces, it also strengthens your core and stabilizer muscles, and improves balance, especially in icier conditions. It also gives your brain a good workout, improving your concentration. When you’re slipping and sliding on the snow, you have to think more about your footing. Fresh snow is a fantastic shock absorber too—and we don’t just mean the shock of being outside on a cold and snowy winter’s day.
Calories Burnt: 797 per hour at a moderate pace.
Cross-country skiing on flat trails requires little in the way of expertise, but can be physically demanding and rewarding. Gliding through nature’s winter wonderland on skis combines resistance training and aerobic exercise to increase heart rate and burn up those unwanted calories. And, if you’re psyched for a bigger challenge, gain additional momentum and ski on hillier terrain to further pump up your body’s fat-burning potential.
Benefits: Cross-country skiing builds your endurance. Using the poles to pull forward, while also pushing the skis, employs both the arms and legs to propel your body forward, giving you a killer upper- and lower-body workout.
Calories Burnt: 472 per hour at a moderate pace.
Glide your way to weight loss with ice skating. It’s is an excellent way to overcome winter woes and lose weight. Skating is a challenging low-impact, cardio-boosting workout. And, because skating works your core, legs, and glutes, you’ll tighten up your tush in the process!
Benefits: Great for working the thighs, glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles, plus a lot of small stabilizer muscles that don’t generally get a daily workout. It’s also core strengthening, and aids with stamina, endurance, balance, and coordination.
Calories Burnt: 429 per hour.
The weather may be frightful, but tobogganing can be delightful. Plus, it’s a great way to mix family fun with fitness. Climbing that snow covered hill over and over provides a great lower body and abs workout—and the exhilarating laughter that comes with the slippery slide down again doesn’t hurt either.
Benefits: This active play has many benefits. As well as being thoroughly entertaining, it’s also working your core, legs, glutes, and calf muscles.
Calories Burnt: 413 per hour.
Come out of hibernation and take a walk on the wintry side. Walking in the snow requires more energy and provides more resistance than simply walking on solid ground. Snowshoes, though, provide more surface coverage and result in a more intense and less slippery workout than simply walking in the snow. Using trekking poles as you crunch along provides balance and support, and helps to get you up that hill, giving your body a greater chance to burn of some of those unwanted pounds.
Benefits: Snowshoeing is a low-impact, killer workout for your lower body. Because the snow adds resistance and your feet are heavier in snowshoes, you’ll recruit more muscle with every step and burn about twice as many calories as walking.
Calories Burnt: 472 per hour.