Depending on what part of the world you live in, you might see some of that white stuff falling from the sky that we all like to call, SNOW. With that being said, along with snow comes the possibility of ice.
Snow and ice are dangerous when traveling, and together can be a deadly combination to those venturing out and about. Those diehard gym rats who will travel no matter what the weather is like will more than likely be one of the few at the gym during snowy/icy days.
So what do you do on those snowy/icy days? Sit in front of the television and eat a bag of potato chips? I sure hope not. Even though the weather outside isn't the greatest, that doesn't mean you can't get a good workout in at home.
This article will give you some tips and pointers on how you can make your snowed in days work for you and allow you to still get in a good workout.
Tips & Pointers
Grab Your Shovel!
I know ... We all hate to go outside and shovel. The thought of going out to shovel snow ranks up there with watching paint dry. However, it doesn't have to be that way if you truly want to get a good workout in. Shoveling snow can burn you on average anywhere from 300-500 calories per hour (that doesn't mean shoveling for 10 minutes and then standing there admiring your work for the other 50 minutes).
If you are no longer a spring chicken or you have health issues, make sure to check with your doctor first to make sure you are able to safely shovel snow.
For those of you who can shovel with no issues, feel free to help out your neighbors, especially around the holidays. Do the sidewalks all the way down your street, or help your next-door neighbor shovel out their driveway. Those extra burned calories add up.
Say it takes you 1 hour to do your driveway, and then you help your neighbor do his/her driveway for an hour. That means you burned anywhere from 600-1000 calories just from shoveling. Doesn't sound so bad after all, right?
For those of you who have a home gym, you have no excuse to skip a workout (especially when it snows). You don't have to have a huge home gym to get in a good workout.
For those looking for a home gym, here are the necessities:
- Power rack or Smith machine
- Barbell with weight set
- Adjustable bench
As you can see, you don't need a lot of things; just the basics will be enough to hit every body part. Some people can even get away with just having dumbbells and a bench. Either way, there is no excuse not to get in a good workout even on the coldest, wintery days of the year.
Walk It Off
Even though the weather outside is frightful (OK, let's not breakout into the song "Let It Snow"), you can still take a nice walk outside. Bundle up with layers and make sure you are fully covered so you don't get too cold. Make sure you wear shoes with good tread so you have good traction. If it is icy outside, you can still go for a walk; you just need to be extra careful.
If you have snowshoes, take your walk off-road. If you have access to woods around where you live, you can take a nice walk through the woods and check out the beautiful winter scenery.
If you don't have access to the woods, take a nice walk through your entire neighborhoods backyards and wave to all your neighbors as they watch you through their windows (OK, this is a joke ... please do not do this). But seriously, if you have snowshoes, your walk is endless and you can pretty much go wherever you wish.
Cold Weather Actually Burns More Calories
The nice thing about being outside when the weather is cold is that you burn more calories. Who would have thought that you could literally stand still in the winter outside and burn calories. Want to know why? Sure you do!
Your body is programmed to maintain a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.0 degrees Celsius. Your core temperature drops when you are outside. Therefore, your body needs to exert energy to bring the temperature back up (this can be in the form of shivering) which burns calories. I'm not saying that by standing outside you will lose 10 pounds, but you WILL burn a small amount of calories simply by standing out in the cold.
Do I recommend this for weight loss? No. How boring is that! But it is a fun fact to make you think about how the body burns calories to exert energy, which increases the body's core temperature. There's your fun fact of the day!
Enjoy the slopes? Sweet! Skiing and snowboarding is a great way to get out in the winter and burn calories. Not to mention a fun way to take your mind off how cold it is and have a little fun.
The great thing about skiing and snowboarding is that you go through a whole body workout and don't even know it. You are constantly using your legs and arms to make turns and go faster while your core is working nonstop to keep you from falling over and losing your balance.
Some people even experience soreness the day after hitting the slopes, which isn't uncommon. A full day on the slopes is a great workout and can be done with the whole family. So why wait, gather up the troops and hit the slopes you snow bunnies!
Build A Snowman Or A Snow Fort
Looking for another idea for the whole family? Why not build a snowman or a snow fort? Heck, you could even have a snowball fight (watch the face when throwing snowballs, we don't want any injuries).
Walking around and carrying snowballs/snowblocks burns calories and also gives you a strength workout. Large snowballs or snowblocks get heavy and after carrying them around for some time, will definitely give you a good workout.
This is a good activity to give your whole family a workout and have some fun and family time in the process. Then when you are all done you can go inside and throw down some hot chocolate (which is full of antioxidants).
As you can see, you don't have to sit inside and wait for winter to pass before you can exercise again. Get out there and have some fun! Being outside not your thing? Then pick up some equipment (that fits your budget) and workout at home. There's no excuse not to workout ever, especially when winter weather hits.
Take some of the ideas you see in this article and add it to your winter workout. Have fun with it and be safe no matter what activity you choose. No more gaining weight over winter. Now you have ideas that can last you all winter long. Enjoy!