Depending on where you live, you might have mild winters or downright cold ones. Even in places with moderate winters, there may be a few days when it is cold outside. Here are seven ways you can keep fit during the chilly days of winter without putting yourself at risk of frostbite or other cold-weather complications.
1. Dress in Layers
Don’t be afraid to go outside, even if it’s chilly. If the air temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, your chance of getting frostbite is less than 5 percent. This is assuming that you are dressed appropriately. Layering is a good way to stay warm when going outside in the winter for walking, sledding or skiing. Start with a thin synthetic layer, such as polypropylene or nylon. It wicks moisture away. Add a layer of fleece or wool to insulate your body. Top this with a waterproof and windproof coat and pants. Wool socks are the best for your feet.
2. Join an Indoor Pool
If your community center has an indoor pool, sign up for a wintertime membership. The YMCA may be another option. Some communities have private indoor pools. Swimming is an ideal aerobic exercise that minimizes wear and tear on your joints.
3. Do Resistance Training
You can do resistance training at home with just a few supplies. If you get snowed in, you can still do these exercises. An inexpensive set of resistance bands is all you need. You can also use your own body weight as resistance. Planks and squats tone your muscles and strengthen your core.
4. Remove Snow
Shoveling snow is intense exercise. As long as you don’t have a heart condition, you could shovel snow from your driveway and sidewalk. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and take a break every 10 minutes. A person who weighs 150 pounds will burn 230 calories in 30 minutes when shoveling snow.
5. Go Sledding
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy sledding. If your area has a few sledding hills and gets snow, sledding can be a great way to burn calories and feel like a kid again. Climbing back up the hill burns about 400 calories per hour for a person who weighs 150 pounds.
If a cold or bad weather has you stuck inside during the winter, put on some dance music. This is also a great snow day activity if you have children. Fast dancing for four or five minutes at a time burns 20 to 25 calories. A whole hour of dancing burns about 400 calories.
7. Go Outside
Many other outdoor winter activities can help you burn a lot of calories. Scraping ice off your car burns about 250 calories per hour. Building a snowman or snow fort burns about 300 calories per hour. Ice skating burns about 380 calories per hour.