Exercise in the snow

By • Published: January 31st, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

If the weather outside is frightful, your exercise plans may not be quite so delightful.

But even if you have no gym in which to go, you can always play in the snow, play in the snow, play in the snow…

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean it’s time to put your workout plans in storage with your teeny-weeny bikini and suntan lotion. While it’s true it may not be the best time to play baseball in the backyard, you can burn a latte’s worth of calories hurling snowballs at your friends.

What other types of exercise can be had in the great outdoors during the winter? If you live near a mountain, you can take up actual sports like skiing or snowboarding. Or you can try your hand at hockey on the ice. But if you don’t have that kind of access or time, you can quickly turn even the most mundane tasks into a workout. For example, you can skip the snowblower and clear the snow from your driveway and sidewalks the old-fashioned way, with a heavy shovel and some elbow grease.

According to the Surgeon General, putting shovel to snow for as little as fifteen minutes is about equal to a thirty-minute walk.

Also, If you’re already a jogger, you could keep up your running routine even in the winter. And what about the old winter standbys? Snowball fights, making snow angels and building your annual snowman? A one-hour snowball fight can help you burn more than 300 calories. Simply putting together a snowman takes 200 calories.

After all, who says it has to be summer beach weather to burn a few extra calories?

No matter what activity you choose, be careful. If you have a health condition, you may want to take it easy. The combination of cold weather and vigorous activity can spell trouble for some folks.