As any of us not lucky enough to live in climates that are balmy year-round can sadly attest, snow and cold winter weather can wreak havoc on exercise regimes. But just because there's a bitter chill whipping through the air and frost on your outdoor thermometer, that doesn't mean you have to hibernate like a bear.
Even if the weather doesn't lend itself to a jog through the park or a drive to the gym, here are few winter activities that can tone muscles and burn calories. And bonus: They're really fun!
Ice Skating: Nothing beats the amazingly free feeling of lacing up your blades and swooshing your way around the skating rink -- the warmth of the sun reflecting off the smooth ice, the lively music blaring from the rink's speakers, the effortlessness of the glide. But in addition to being a blast, skating's great exercise, too. A 150-pound woman can burn an impressive 621 calories in just one hour of vigorous skating, and 342 in an hour of moderate skating.
Skiing: Whether you're a fan of the slopes or prefer a path, strapping on your skis could be the first step toward staying in shape this winter. You can burn 594 per hour downhill skiing and a whopping 774 calories per hour making some tracks on your cross-country skis.
Sledding: Grab the kids and rescue your sled or toboggan from that dusty corner in the basement. Sledding and tobogganing burns 468 calories per hour.
Snowshoeing: Those snowshoes might look funny, but they'll keep you on top of things (snow, your weight ...). Plus, they could lead to weight-loss breakthrough: You'll burn 500 calories for every hour you spend snowshoeing.
Snowmobiling: If you're lucky enough to own a snowmobile, start it up and get moving. You'll burn off 234 calories per hour.
Take a Hike: Going for a brisk walk in the cold weather isn't just good for your soul, it's good for your waistline as well. You'll burn about 200-350 calories per hour of walking, and the cold weather may give you an extra calorie-burning boost.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start moving. And don't forget your hat!
Are you excited to get moving outdoors this winter?
Image via FaceMePLS/Flickr