Walking in a winter wonderland burns calories. The extra effort you take balancing yourself to stay upright on slippery ground builds core strength. The added difficulty of wading through snow makes an everyday stroll more intense. And, of course, shoveling is a full-blown workout. Plus, your body has to work harder in cold weather to keep you warm!
People often talk about winter sports like skating, skiing and even snowshoeing. But they rarely pay attention to the workouts you get from more fun activities!
While we all think of sledding as just sliding down a hill, the repeated climb up that hill burns a lot of calories. It’s essential to be sure you’re wearing waterproof shoes with grippy soles to avoid falls and have fun. The number of calories you burn during an hour depends on the hill’s steepness and size, but it can be more than 450! That’s an incredible workout for playing in the snow.
Snowball fights are a beloved pastime. We’re not the biggest fans. We think they’re a great way to get hurt — especially when it’s a mixed age group. Family snowball fights seem to end in tears and bandages frequently. But, gathering snow, forming balls and throwing it can be a great upper-body workout. We do like the idea of playing catch with snowballs or even baseball — people are far less likely to get injured. A snowball fight is estimated to burn around 320 calories an hour.
Our favorite option is building a snowman. Building a snowman is lovely this time of year. It’s a great lawn decoration, a fun activity for the family, and a full-body workout! You squat to roll snowballs for the snowman’s body — stretching out your legs and back. You use strength to lift balls to place them on top of each other. It’s great! Plus, no matter your level of fitness, you can participate. You can build smaller ones if you aren’t strong enough to lift large balls; you can make them on tables or porch railings if you need to sit while you exercise. It’s all up to you.
Because you can build snowmen in so many ways and so many sizes of snowmen that estimates for how many calories you burn vary wildly. We have seen everything from the very specific 144 calories to over 400. It’s a fantastic workout that is all about stretching and lifting. How many calories you burn will be based on your intensity. If you build a massive snowman, you’re going to burn a lot more than if you make a smaller one. But, either way, you will be getting a workout, and you’ll be spending healthy time outside doing a fun physical activity.
This winter, get outside in the snow with your friends and family. You’ll have a great time and help yourself stay in shape!