Try These Fun Winter Exercise Options

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Ice climbing

If your preferred exercise activities are jogging, biking and hiking outdoors, you might find your activity level dropping significantly in the winter months. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Winter offers some fun exercise options, and the combination of physical exercise and sun exposure can help improve your mood and boost your immune system.

We found this great article featuring a slideshow of nine winter outdoor activities. So the next time you’re planning to hit the gym (or the couch), bundle up instead and try one of these:

Curling or ice fishing. Granted, your participation in these two might depend on where you’re located. But if you can make it happen, grab some friends and give it a whirl. You won’t be the only one who doesn’t know the curling rules, and we bet most of your friends have never been ice fishing either.

Sledding. Here’s an activity for the whole family, and all you need is a hill, some snow and a sled. Trekking up the slope will work your glutes just as hard as any set of squats and it’s a lot more fun than watching CNN at the gym. Even steering and balancing on your way down the hill helps work your core muscles.

ice skating. Balancing on a single-blade skate works all the small-group muscles that keep you upright, and you’ll burn about 460 calories an hour with this cardio and lower body strength workout.

Snowboarding. If you live near a ski slope, try snowboarding for a calorie burn of 485 calories per hour. The balance used to navigate a board requires exceptional core strength and power.

Ice hockey. It’s a major cardio workout, but balance and strength are also just as important to hockey players as they are to figure skaters.

Ice climbing. Sure, it might seem a bit precarious, but like rock climbing, ice climbing is a tremendous workout for your upper body, including your arms, shoulders and back.

Cross-country skiing. It’s hard to find another exercise that is at once calming and a hardcore workout. A trek on cross-country skis lets you enjoy silence and nature while moving along at your own pace while burning about 575 calories an hour.

Snowshoeing. Gaining in popularity but still often overlooked in favor of more common winter sports, this activity can burn 650-700 calories per hour. The simplicity is a major part of the appeal–just slap on a pair of snowshoes and you’re on your way.

Whatever wintertime activity appeals to you, get out there and do it! Don’t let the cold weather stop you from meeting your fitness goals. And if it’s simply too cold to be outside, then go ahead and move your workout to the gym and watch some CNN. Remember, even if you’re snowed in by a blizzard, you can always do some pushups and jumping jacks. The most important thing is to keep moving, have fun, stay active, and don’t let the winter months destroy your workout routine.

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