Arguably, one of the best ways to burn calories is doing an activity you already enjoy. Plus, adding a little nature and beautiful scenery into the mix doesn’t hurt either. While snow may seem like a cold annoyance for some, it does bring about the opportunity to partake in a new set of fun outdoor sports.
Favorite outdoor winter activities
Exercising outdoors in the winter has many positive benefits. One such benefit is the fact there is far less humidity in the air. Sometimes humid, heavy-feeling air can drag you down and tire you out faster while cold air leaves you feeling invigorated. Strengthening your heart is another benefit of winter workouts. That’s because your heart needs to pump harder in order to send blood throughout your body.
The body ends up burning more calories than normal when it is out in the cold. It simply needs to work harder in order to maintain your core temperature among the elements. In fact, a regular paced walk taken in the winter can burn up to 50 percent more calories than if you were to take that same walk in the summer.
One of the best calorie burning outdoor activities is cross-country skiing. The Olympic sport is a fun and efficient way to exercise a large number of muscles all at once. You can burn anywhere from 400 to 730 calories in an hour depending on your weight. Additionally, cross-country skiing has positive effects on your heart. The more muscles you work, the more your body needs to supply oxygen to those muscles and to do so, your heart has to work harder. After several weeks of cross-country skiing, some people report lower resting heart rates. The lower your resting heart rate, the healthier you are.
Here’s a look at some other popular outdoor activities and the amount of calories you can burn doing them.
Less fun but necessary winter chores
Your winter chores are actually a great way to burn calories. Shoveling snow may seem like a necessary evil, but next time you’re clearing your driveway, remember you’re also exercising. The average person can burn anywhere from 400 to 500 calories an hour while shoveling snow by hand. Even though shoveling snow is merely a chore, you should treat it as if you’re working out. Be sure to pace yourself by dividing a big job into several 20-minute segments. While it may seem silly, you’ll also want to limber up with some stretches beforehand in order to protect your heart and back. Lastly, don’t forget to listen to your body. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness or nausea, head indoors.
Other winter chores that aid in calorie burn include:
- Using a Snow Blower – 100 calories per 30 minutes
- Cleaning snow off the roof – 224 calories per hour
- Scraping Ice off Car Windows: 56 calories per 15 minutes
- Chopping and Stacking Wood – 200 calories per 30 minutes