Don't let winter drag down your fitness goals. Here are three simple ideas for staying in shape when the weather is less than cooperative.
Outdoor Fitness in the Winter: Stay Outside While Staying Fit
Staying fit year-round is important, but the elements are seemingly stacked against you. It’s cold outside. There’s always an influx of traffic at the gym early in the year. Monthly gym fees seem exorbitant these days. It can all feel incredibly defeating before you even get started. Why not make the most of your backyard to reach your fitness goals? Get your daily dose of Vitamin D and enjoy the great outdoors with these fitness favorites (and often underappreciated ones) that you and the family can enjoy in your own backyard.
Dust off the jump rope
This schoolyard favorite also has great fitness benefits for grown-ups. Jumping rope is a fun, intense cardio exercise that works all major muscle groups, helps strengthen your bones, and improves balance. Have a contest with the family!
Calorie Counter: According to Shape Magazine, you can burn more than 200 calories in two, 10-minute sessions each day.
Break out the snowshoes
If you’re lucky enough to experience a fluffy, white bounty of snow this time of year, take up snowshoeing. This is a great winter fitness activity to help keep marathon runners, endurance racers, hikers, cyclists or anyone else in shape during the winter months.
Calorie Counter: According to Livestrong, a person who weighs 125 pounds burns about 240 calories per half hour of snowshoeing, while a 155-pound person burns 298 calories.
Take the unconventional approach with wood chopping
(Leave the kids inside for this one) Dust off your best flannel and split some firewood. Because you are swinging an ax, many think that splitting wood is a great arm workout, which is not the case. Splitting wood is much more of a cardio and core workout than anything else. Added bonus: It’s hard not to feel pretty cool when chopping wood, wouldn’t you agree?
Calorie Counter: According to Harvard Health Publications, you could burn between 180 and 266 calories per 30 minutes of activity.
Everyday yard work can keep you in shape
From raking leaves to cleaning gutters, keeping your great outdoors looking their best can help keep you looking your best, too. Skip the 30 minute DVD and driving to the gym and make the commitment to do a little yardwork every day. Your body and your lawn will thank you.
Calorie Counter: According to WebMD, shoveling snow, pulling weeds, and gardening are excellent full-body workouts that can burn upwards of 400 calories per hour.
What are your favorite outdoor fitness activities? Your yard can be a great place to get fit, and we want to know your tips and tricks, despite the cold weather. Tell us on social on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.