Outdoor Winter Activities
• Whether you are experienced, or in it for the fun, winter sports are awesome! Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating are great options to stay fit and burn calories while having a great time.
• Have a sledding party. Exercising socially is fun and feels like less work than it is. Ask people to go sledding on the weekends to burn some extra calories.
• Take up snowshoeing and burn up to 1,000 calories an hour! Snowshoeing is a low impact, total body aerobic exercise.
• Bundle up and take a walk, hike or run this winter. The trails look so unique under a fresh blanket of snow.
Dislike cold weather? Stay indoors!
• Try a gym membership. If you’re paying for it, you will be more likely to use it. There are great fitness classes, and you can even sign up for sessions with a personal trainer. It will also help give you the chance to try something new!
• Winter is a great time to take up yoga. The cold and busy holiday season can bring a lot of stress. Yoga is a great stress reliever that helps you lose weight as well as lower your blood pressure.
• Take up indoor cycling or swimming. Use the cold months to do something new until you are able to go back to something you enjoy in warmer weather.
• Workout DVDs are a great way to get in shape whenever you’d like, even during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
• Active video games are fun and can help you get in shape socially with your friends and family members.
• Crank up the Justin Bieber (just kidding) and race up and down the stairs of your house for thirty minutes each day to burn some calories.
• Dancing to your favorite tunes is not only a great workout, but can also be a great way to stay positive mentally during your least favorite season.
• Switch it up a bit and jump rope. It is simple enough to do anywhere.
• Jumping jacks, push ups, abdominal workouts, chair dips, calf stretches and other strengthening workouts are easy to accomplish in the comfort of one’s home or at the gym.
• Invest in free weights. Don’t have the money? You’re in luck. Ordinary household items such as bags of sugar, flour or books will work.
• Housework sucks but it can keep you moving around the house and often requires lifting.
• Use the cold weather as a reason to exercise in the morning. Get moving right away and warm up your body. Ease into your workout to stay more alert and improve circulation for the day.
• Want to get rid of some fat? Use the cold to boost your metabolism naturally and burn more calories. But don’t be foolish enough to believe you should freeze and get frostbite to rid yourself of excess body fat.
• If you’re an intense shopper, use your outing to get in a workout. Maintain a steady walking pace in the mall. Taking the stairs is beneficial, as well as my personal favorite, running up the escalators.
• Keep busy and get yourself out of the house. It is important to keep moving and preoccupied so you don’t search the fridge unnecessarily throughout the day.
• Advance technologically and try a new fitness gadget. Use a calorie and activity tracker to remind yourself how many calories you burn and consume. A new GPS watch and/or heart rate monitor can also keep you motivated to run, walk, or hike during the cold months.
• Wear fitted clothes to remind yourself why you worked so hard.
• If you like exercising outdoors, use the seasonal change to switch it up a bit. Map out a new route, come up with a new routine or try something new.
More winter friendly tips
• Probiotics can help improve your immunity from colds and viruses. Scientists believe that up to 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. So take care of it.
• Reducing the temperature of your morning shower may not be on your to-do list, but it will keep you more awake. Hot water raises your body temperature, and once you cool off, you become drowsy.
• Increase your intake of vitamin D. Less daylight and colder temperatures increase the likeliness of vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to seasonal depression. Fish, eggs and milk are good food sources. Getting at least ten minutes of sun exposure is important as well.
• The winter season is full of rich drinks such as hot chocolate, eggnog and cream liquors. Swap out some calories by finding substitutes, or making lighter versions of your favorite holiday drinks.
• Take in more fiber to keep a healthy digestive system as well as sustain your hunger.
• A diet that is low in fat and high in nutrients is important during the winter. Healthy foods such as dried fruit, nuts, lean meats, fresh fruits, vegetable and whole grains can keep you healthy.
• It may be winter, but that does not mean you should be drinking less water. Keeping hydrated is just as important during the winter as it is during the summer.
• Working out frequently will make you less susceptible to illnesses.
• Be prepared for the weather if you are working out in the cold. The frigid air can trigger breathing issues so be sure to pay attention to your body.
• Layer up. It is important to keep your body warm to avoid illness and other complications during the winter.
• Resist the urge to snack. Avoid buying tons of holiday sweets that you don’t need.
• Add foods that will benefit you this winter to your diet. Here are nine winter super foods: pomegranate, brussel sprouts, persimmon, leeks, kiwifruit, beets, guava and kale.