When the weather outside is frightful, it can be all too tempting to stay inside and hibernate—we totally get it. But the bottom line is, you're not a bear or a bat so you shouldn't be snoozing through winter. Plus, if staying fit is among your chief health goals, you really should make heading outside a priority.
Once the white powder has hit the ground, there are a ton of calorie-incinerating activities available that aren't at our disposal during the warmer months. From skiing to sledding, we've identified some fun winter activities that can help you build a body you'll be proud to show off come summer. Note: All calorie burned estimations are based on a 150-pound person and will vary depending on activity intensity.
Building a Snowman
Calories burned in 30 minutes: 143
It's rarely considered to be much of a workout, but making a snowman can burn mega calories. And if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. First of all, there's loads of squatting involved throughout the process and a lot of walking and heavy lifting, too. That snowball face isn't going to put itself on top of the two other snowballs, now is it? Speaking of burning calories while having fun, don't miss our special report 19 Ways to Burn 100 Calories Without a Gym.
Calories burned in 30 minutes: 171
So long as you can keep up a moderate pace, you'll scorch 171 calories (what you'd find in about three Oreos). Hit the ice with the kids for a fun afternoon outing or skate around with your sweetie for a romantic—and heart thumping—night on the town.
Calories burned in 30 minutes: 207
Turns out that there's an upside of this super annoying chore: it burns a ton of calories—and pretty quickly, too!
Calories burned in 30 minutes: 234
Since sledding involves walking up and down a hill multiple times, it burns a fair share of calories. To work off that extra cup of hot cocoa you knew you'd be better off without, offer to pull the kiddos home. Dragging a sled behind you is a killer workout for your quadriceps.
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Cross Country Skiing
Calories burned in 30 minutes: 387
Cross country skiing is great because once you have the right gear, you can hit the power just about anywhere—for free! Not to mention, since you're engaging your muscles with every step and there's no downhill soaring, it burns more calories than downhill skiing. How many you ask? About 180 additional calories per hour!