It seems the older I get, the more I hate winter. I love snow, but I hate driving in it and it gets dark so freakin early that you miss those happy sunshine-y days. This winter, I’ve got a game plan and I’m not going to end up stuck inside, bored and munching on a plate of Christmas cookies.
What’s my secret? I’m going to embrace the cold. There are so many activities to keep you busy even with snow on the ground, there’s just no excuse to be a winter bum. The nice thing is that most of these activities end up being a workout in and of themselves, which is great especially if you can’t stomach running on a treadmill all winter long.
Snowshoeing is probably going to be the number one thing I get into this season. I live around many parks and nature preserves that allow for great hiking, but obviously deep snow can provide numerous challenges. Snowshoes are the perfect winter hiking accessory. They allow for more stability while walking in snow and ice, but also they are huge calorie burners!!! We’re talking 480 calories an hour just going at a walking pace. Not only that, but they are easy, easy, easy to use! If you can walk, you can snowshoe. It is also low impact, so if you have knee problems or other health issues this is a great option! There is little equipment required. Snowshoes, boots of any kind and warm clothes! Just remember to wear layers that you can peel off or put back on as needed. For those runners who want to trail run in the winter, snowshoes allow for running in the snow as well. It’s a great activity to get you out in nature and mixes up your typical workout day.
Snowboarding and skiing are two other winter activities that, although more expensive, are a ton of fun! The amount of calories you burn depends on how hard you push yourself. Still, you are strengthening your legs and ab muscles while going down the hill, especially if you are carving down the mounting. There is equipment involved, boots, skis or board and winter clothing. Plus you’ll need a lift ticket, which at a lot of places is expensive. BUT there are ways to keep the expense at a minimum. Don’t go out and buy this stuff before you’ve at least tried it to see if you like it. Most ski hills offer rentals for the boots and board/skis so there isn’t a need to purchase these things right away. Also, find out if your ski hill has discount days. If you are really ambitious, get a part time job at the ski hill. My mom did that for my brother and I as kids so that we could get family passes, for free!
Ice skating is another fun winter activity. This is much more economical than snowboarding and skiing because most ice skating rinks offer rentals and are less expensive in terms of fees to get in. On average, a 150 pound person can burn almost 400 calories ice skating at about 9 mph. Plus, it’s great for date nights or family activities! What better way to mix up the winter boredom than to go ice skating? You get a workout it, you have fun and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. Even if you fall down, you just laugh it off and keep going. If your town doesn’t have an actual indoor rink, many cities will flood the parks in the winter so that people can ice skate on it.
So these are just a few ways to avoid the boredom and monotony that the winter season so often brings. I’m actually looking forward to winter now that I know I have other options than just sitting inside with the boob tube.
- A Guide to Buying Snowshoes (kitsapsun.com)
- Gearing Up for Winter (kitsapsun.com)
- Winter Activities That Burn Calories (quazen.com)
- Got cabin fever yet? Tell us what you’re doing this week (seattletimes.nwsource.com)