Is the winter weather giving you cabin fever? We all love to be warm and toasty indoors, but spending time outside in nature can improve cognitive function and overall sense of well-being. Winter sports are a great way to stay active in the cold weather and burn off extra calories from the holidays.
Downhill skiing, also called alpine skiing, is a great way to engage your core, leg muscles, and arms. With mountains less than two hours from Philadelphia it is a great activity for the entire family. The best part is after 60 minutes of moderate downhill skiing a 185 lbs person can burn 530 calories! Are you more of a snowboarder? The same amount of calories are burned per hour making it a great workout as well.
Ice skating is easy on joints because it is low impact. It can also improve balance and coordination by engaging many small stabilizer muscles which are not typically engaged in day-to-day life. Skating can improve strength and help improve performance in other activities such as skiing, running, and yoga. Our same 185 lb person can burn a whopping 615 calories in 60 minutes of moderate ice skating! The Blue Cross RiverRink is open daily until the end of February so bundle up, get out there, and skate away.
Snow shoeing improves cardiovascular endurance while building strength and agility. Two studies conducted by Ball State University and the University of Vermont found snow shoeing can burn twice the number of calories as walking at the same pace, up to 1,000 calories per hour! The harder the terrain the greater the workout will be.
This winter get out there and have fun with winter sports. Enjoy the fresh air, the beauty of nature, and the calorie burning potential!