While snow on the ground and brisk, cold air may sound like a great time to exercise indoors, the winter provides many unique exercise opportunities. Consider the benefits of winter sports such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing or fat tire biking to switch up your fitness routine and make the most of a Michigan winter.
Michigan Snowshoeing Trails
Snowshoeing is one of the easiest sports to participate in this winter. It provides a cardio workout while building strength, agility, balance and endurance. Snowshoeing is the perfect sport for people of all ages and is certainly an easy and inexpensive hobby to pick up as a family.
Strap on your snowshoes and head to one of these great Michigan hiking trails:
- Corsair Ski Trails – The Highbank trail at Corsair follows a high bluff overlooking the historic AuSable River Valley and is considered one of the most scenic trail routes in the Midwest.
- Crystal Mountain – During the winter, the Michigan Legacy Art Park doubles as a beautiful snowshoe destination that features an outdoor amphitheatre and more than 20 viewable sculptures.
- Hanson Hills – There are two loops available on this trail, one for beginners and one for more advanced snow shoers.
Or on the snowiest Michigan days, take a whirl around the neighborhood before the snow removal trucks remove the freshly fallen snow.
Kick It Up a Notch to Cross Country Skiing
Another activity that involves the great outdoors is cross country skiing. This type of skiing can be enjoyed in a wide variety of forms. Types include nordic skiing, track skiing, skate skiing, telemarking, backcountry skiing and ski touring. The activity is a full-body workout that engages every major muscle group depending on the stride you use.
Cross country skiing can burn more calories than any other form of exercise or sport with up to 1,200 calories per hour.
Check out these top notch trails:
- Boyne Highlands Cross Country – This trail offers more than 35 beautifully-groomed kilometers of cross country fun that weaves through Boyne Mountain.
- Cross Country Ski Headquarters – The Cross Country Ski Headquarters is located at the heart of Michigan’s cross country skiing mecca and is one of the premier destinations in Michigan and the Midwest.
Roll Where Few Bikes Frequently Roll: In the Snow
Fat tire biking, or fat biking, has been around since the 1980s, but it is a sport that has really taken off in recent years. A fat tire bike is one that has wide rims and extra large tires and allows bikes to roll into brand new territory, including snow covered tundras.
Crystal Mountain offers several trails to explore while fat tire biking, and even has guided tours. You can find more Michigan fat tire biking trails and rental services to explore here.
Fat biking is a bit more difficult than it looks and requires a different mindset when you ride. Since the bikes are heavy and they are someone slow to turn, fat bikes are sometimes considered the monster truck of the bicycling world, so you’ll likely burn more calories than with traditional biking.