Scared of a Little Snow? There are Plenty of Ways to Burn Calories Outdoors in Winter

If you’re a daily walker like I am, and you live in Michigan or somewhere else that got snow, you’re probably debating whether or not to walk outdoors today or look for an alternative exercise. Yes, it appears as though the snow is here for the day and it’s the heavy stuff, which does not provide the best traction when trying to walk at a brisk pace.

When the snow falls at the rate it’s falling today, I find that I enjoy walking on the treadmill. Sometimes I prefer to walk indoors at the mall. But today I’m going to bundle up and get myself outdoors to do a little shoveling!

I will not allow any snow to stop me from exercising; in fact, sometimes it’s a nice change of routine. Snow shoveling is a great exercise, burns hundreds of calories and forces me to use muscles that I don’t use while walking. But please understand that shoveling snow can be a very intense, aerobic activity, so take a moment to read these safety tips before heading outdoors with your snow shovel.

Shoveling snow is not the only winter exercise; many activities can help you burn off hundreds of calories and they are enjoyable too! The list below shows the number of calories burner per hour, based on a person who weighs 150 pounds. Note that the more you weigh, the more calories you burn while performing these winter activities:

Cross-country Skiing 612 calories
Snow-shoeing 544 calories
Ice skating 476 calories
Sledding 476 calories
Shoveling snow 408 calories
Splitting firewood 408 calories

Think of the fun you could have this weekend taking the family on a cross-country skiing adventure; everyone would love it. And when is the last time you went ice skating? Honestly, not much beats the feeling of lacing up your blades and swooshing your way around the skating rink, the warmth of the sun reflecting off the smooth ice, the lively music blaring from the rink’s speakers, the effortlessness of the glide… well, you get the picture!

And you have to admit that the kids would love it if you decided to surprise them with a day of sledding too. Grab that sled or toboggan from that dusty corner in the basement and head towards the hill of your choice. I could go on and on, but my point is this: No matter what the weather is, find a way to incorporate some form of exercise into your day. It’s fun, it’s a change of scenery, and it’s good for you (and your heart!).

How do you plan to get out and enjoy the snow?

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Photo by Brian Giesen

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