Exercising indoors can often feel like a routine, but it can be made into an adventure if you workout outdoors! With the winter season upon us and it being cold, it can feel un-motivating (that duvet IS very warm). Don’t worry though, there are so many fun workouts you can do in the winter and you don’t have to do them alone, just make sure you maintain social distancing, mask-up, and stay safe by having the necessary gear and attire! Here’s a list of the top 10 outdoor winter workouts for you, your friends, and family from the HFR Team!
This might be the last thing you want to do, especially since it’s cold. Make sure to dress lightly for the cold, as it might get hot while you’re running, and bright/ reflective clothing, so you can be seen if it’s dark out. The cold is actually the best kind of weather to run in, as it is “less heat stress” on our bodies. Not only that but running in the cold boosts your metabolism, keeping your weight in check since we tend to eat about 200 calories more per day in the winter. Along with the fitness and weight loss, it can combat Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), since running can increase your mood, energy and release certain hormones to help decrease the negative feelings.
Hitting the slopes is a great way to work out in the winter! Skiing is great for all ages and any level of skills and is good for your mind and body. Some benefits of skiing are that it improves your core strength, improves your flexibility, and increases your cardiovascular endurance. It also increases the health of your bones and joints, which often start to ache in cold temperatures. Skiing is also a great way to boost your mood, as you’re able to get some vitamin D, also contributing to a decrease of SAD.
This is a workout that can be done year-round, indoors and outdoors, and for all ages and skill levels. Ice skating relieves stress, increasing your mental fitness. It’s a great way to get cardio in, contributing to maintaining your weight, builds your endurance, leg muscles, and also increases joint flexibility. It’s even fun to do it with others!
Winter months are one of the best reasons to go out and go snowboarding! It’s fun and offers a variety of mental and physical benefits. Like all the other workouts you can do hitting the slopes. Snowboarding improves your flexibility, balance, enhances your cardiovascular health, makes you happier, and gives you the opportunity to travel. You’re also able to snowboard with others, which in return, helps you maintain and build relationships.
Depending on how big the snowball you throw is, how many and the force, snowball fighting might not be as much of a workout for your arms. But running around, chasing after others, and dodging snowballs through the resistance of the snow can definitely work out your legs, build your endurance, and build some sweat. It’s also good for your mental health since you’re spending time with others.
Pulling a sled, regardless of whether someone is on it or not, is a workout. You’re pulling some sort of weight and you might even be making multiple rounds going uphill to slide down. To gain more benefits, you can engage your core as you’re pulling!
Hiking is more than just an outdoor workout. It has health benefits that enhance not only your physical health, but also your mental health. Through hiking, you are able to work out your entire body, mostly the lower parts, keeping you warm in the cold, and among that, you are able to gain peace of mind being outdoors. This can curb depression, as well as control, prevent diabetes, and help cardiovascular health. A study in 2018 showed that “exercising in the cold burns more calories than exercising in warmer temperatures”. On top of that, since we are in the middle of a pandemic, you can even venture with others and maintain social distancing, while having that scenic view!
Yoga is a way to relieve stress and become more flexible. Did you know that there are different types of yoga and they all have different benefits? For example, Cold Yoga! Between 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a “mild cold stress” focal point. When our bodies are cold, they try to maintain the normal body temperature, around 98°F. This activates “brown” fat in our bodies to become metabolically active— triggering a relation between cold temperature and physical activity having the same effect of fat-burning.
A full-body workout, hand-eye coordination, body coordination and balance, enhanced communication skills, and more. Hockey works out your whole body and also challenges your mind to body skills. On top of that, it’s a team-building sport, which builds relationships and increases your communication skills. This workout and sport can be done both on a field or on ice, like a frozen lake or an indoor/ outdoor rink.
Outside workouts with your dog
Both dogs and their owners need exercise, so why not work out together?! You both get to spend quality time together while maintaining your health. Some outdoor workouts both of you can do in the winter are running and walking, playing keep away in the snow, hiking, yoga, and one specifically for the winter, snowshoeing (also here are 10 Workouts You Can Do With Your Dog). Snowshoeing is like super walking in the cold, which is good, as it keeps both you and your dog from overheating. How fun is it that you get to work out and stay warm with your BFF?