Health Blog

8 Great Winter Exercises (That You Thought Were Just Fun)

Tips January 31, 2020

For some, winter means curling up by the fire, snuggled in their blankets, and sipping plenty of hot chocolate. When it comes to exercise, people might turn to the treadmill, thinking it’s easier to stay fit indoors. However, you can still have plenty of fun outside, get some exercise, and be active, even with all the snow and wind in the way.

There are tons of activities you can only do in winter (e.g. sledding, ice-skating, and skiing) that can be fun and healthy things to do with your time. Whether you’re trying to stay fit or doing some sports therapy, there’s plenty to do during winter to keep you busy. Consider trading your usual activities with these winter exercises to burn some calories.

Winter only comes once a year, so take advantage of the season while you can. Here are eight wintry exercises that can put a spin on your daily workout.

8 Great Winter Exercises (That You Thought Were Just Fun)

  1. Skiing 

Winter means snow, and snow means skiing. Now’s a perfect time to visit a ski resort and spend some time on the slopes. However, if you’re looking for more of a challenge, consider cross-country and uphill skiing. These use more of the muscles than regular skiing down a slope. Here, you’ll need your legs to push off the ground with each step. You’ll also need to use the poles, so your arms and shoulders have something to do as well. Keeping your balance also requires the use of your core muscles, rounding it all off for a well-balanced workout.

8 Great Winter Exercises (That You Thought Were Just Fun)

  1. Ice-Skating

Ice-skating is an activity anyone can get into, from kids to grandparents, making it good, clean fun for the whole family. It’s also great exercise for your lower body. Every time you push off to skate, you put your legs to work, particularly the muscles in the inner thigh. These muscles don’t typically get much to do, so ice-skating is a great way to give them a workout. Ice-skating is also easy on the joints, so it’s a simple, easy exercise that doesn’t put too much strain on the body. Posture also matters for skating well, so the muscles in your core and lower back have some work to do themselves.

  1. Snowboarding

When you’re hitting the slopes, snowboarding can be a good alternative to skiing. Like skiing, snowboarding makes your legs work to keep you stable. Since you won’t be using poles, the lower body has to do more work to keep you upright and moving. You also especially need your core to rotate your body when doing turns and to keep your lower body stabilized.

8 Great Winter Exercises (That You Thought Were Just Fun)

  1. Snow-ga 

Normally yoga is a great way to stay fit and help maintain your mental balance. The poses you take also stimulate the muscles, improving strength and flexibility. Yoga can be a great indoor exercise, especially in winter when it’s usually too cold to stay outdoors.

However, if you’re feeling adventurous, consider doing yoga outside. Shivering is an effective way to burn calories passively, which can help you get more out of every workout. As long as you keep yourself warm, you can spend more energy than you normally would.

Remember to dress warmly first to make sure you’re fully prepared for staying outside for a while.

  1. Fat-Biking

Fat-biking is a fast-growing new outdoor activity that can mean a great workout for you. A fat bike features extra-wide tires with low-inflation pressure. This makes it a perfect fit for soft, unstable, and otherwise unrideable surfaces like snow.

There are some great places featuring fat bikes, allowing you to give yourself a challenge. Using a bike gives the lower body plenty of work, and riding a fat bike up a hill even more so. Riding uphill takes extra effort since you’ll be fighting gravity, making it a good way to burn some calories this winter. Snow is also an unstable surface, so you’ll be putting your core muscles to good use to stay upright.

8 Great Winter Exercises (That You Thought Were Just Fun)

  1. Shovelling

When it snows, someone has to get the snow off the driveway. Shovelling it, instead of using a snowblower, is a way to give yourself a good outdoor workout and keep your driveway and walkway clear.

Shovelling is more than a chore; it’s also a great way to build some muscles. As you shovel, you’re putting your whole body to work lifting the snow and carting it out of the way. You can expect to burn around 400 calories an hour working, so now’s as good a time as any to get around to shovelling the driveway.

8 Great Winter Exercises (That You Thought Were Just Fun)

  1. Snowball Fights

When you’ve got a lot of people and nothing else to do, have a snowball fight. Have some good, clean fun throwing snowballs at your friends. It’s a great chance to do a little cardio outside, especially when it’s been snowing hard. You’ll be doing short bursts of running as you try to avoid getting hit, combined with using your arms and core to return fire.

All-in-all, a snowball fight is a good way to give your whole body a fun workout that doesn’t feel like work. Best of all, snowball fights can last a while, especially when you’re all having fun. But remember what Mom said; no snowballs to the head!

8 Great Winter Exercises (That You Thought Were Just Fun)

  1. Sledding

Did you ever go sledding when you were a kid? It wasn’t always about letting gravity do the work for you; you had to drag the sled uphill first. But pulling that sled up the slope helps burn plenty of calories and gives the arms and legs work to do; after all, the sled doesn’t pull itself.

Sledding comes with benefits to make something to try out. Think of it as getting a free workout with every trip down the hill. If you’ve got kids, there’s even more of a workout in it for you. Let your little ones hop in the sled and pull them up too. Your arms, legs, and core can build up even more strength doing it. Besides, your kids get to enjoy a fun ride up and down the slope too!

It’s always important you keep up the motivation to stay active, even when it’s hard to feel motivated. Stick to your guns and keep exercising to keep yourself in shape. Staying healthy is a commitment, and it’s vital you keep it up all through the year. Proper health is key to avoiding sports injuries no matter the season. Use these exercises to help find something that works for you, even in the colder months.

When you’ve had a traumatic injury, it helps to have a compassionate, caring staff to help you through recovery. At Brampton Orthoneuro Physiocare, we provide each patient with the right care and attention to help make your recovery turn out much more smoothly.

Call us at (905) 454-4975, or visit our contact page to make an appointment now.