Great cold weather workouts

Ice skating is a great winter workout.

For a lot of people, our motivation wanes as the cold weather creeps in – exercising outdoors is particularly challenging, and trudging to the gym seems like a chore. But winter doesn't mean the end of working out! In fact, it's still important to catch some rays when you can to get your vitamin D and stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Here are some great calorie-busting, muscle-building, fun outdoor winter activities to get a workout and some fresh air and sun:

  • If you have kids and live in an area where it snows, sledding is the perfect exercise! Not only is it incredibly exhilarating to race down a hill at wild speeds, but it's also an excellent workout – once you get to the bottom, you have to hike up to the top to catch your thrills again.
  • Even residents of Los Angeles and other warm places can enjoy ice skating at an artificial rink. Ice skating is the quintessential winter activity no matter where you live, and since it's an aerobic exercise, it's also a fabulous workout. Depending on how much you weigh, just one hour of recreational ice skating can burn between 250 and 810 calories. It's a great activity to tone your quadriceps and hamstrings, and ice skating requires the use of your abdominal and lower back muscles to keep your balance – strengthening these muscles will help you in other activities like yoga.
  • Go snow boarding. Snow boarding requires supreme balance and core strength to not only stay upright on the board but successfully navigate down a hill. Plus, you're burning up to 500 calories per hour! Even taking beginners' lessons can be a great workout.
  • If you live in a flatter area, try cross-country skiing. It's a total body workout – it strengthens the core and tones the arms. You can burn around 570 calories per hour cross-country skiing.
  • Of all winter sports, snowshoeing has one of the biggest payoffs! You can burn up to 700 calories per hour during your snowy trek.
  • Simply taking a brisk walk in the snow is also a great idea. You'll have to move quickly to keep your body warm, and keeping your balance on the ice and snow is more of a workout than taking a walk in better weather.

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