If you want to get a heart-pumping cardio workout while enjoying a beautiful, snowy, and peaceful landscape, give snowshoeing a try. My love for hiking got me interested in snowshoeing initially—even with the best hiking boots, it’s not always easy to get around when the ground is covered in snow. With snowshoes I’ve easily walked on several feet of snow! Best of all snowshoeing is an easy activity to master activity for people of all ages and fitness levels—you can stroll at a slow pace or even run on snowshoes! It’s one of my favorite ways to get outside in the colder months.
Here are a few tips for anyone interested in trying snowshoeing:
What to Expect:
One of the really great things about snowshoeing is that it’s extremely easy to learn and you don’t need to take lessons. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. That being said, it will take probably take you few steps to get used to the feeling of wearing snowshoes and how they will affect your stride. Snowshoes can feel a little bulky at first and you may have to walk a little different than usual. The good news is that unlike some other winter sports, the learning curve is fairly minimal and it’s easy to pick up within a matter of moments. (more…)
As an East Coaster, I’ve always dreaded winter. But when my ski- and snowboard-loving husband and I moved to Colorado this past year—a state known for some of the best ski resorts in the world—I decided it was time to give winter a fair shot. Skiing seemed like one way to have fun and burn some calories so I signed up for a Women’s Program at a local resort.
My expectations were pretty low. I’d skied once before and the experience left me a little fearful and my first day of lessons was no different. I had a hard time and just felt out of control. If I hadn’t paid for the 6-week program up front, I probably wouldn’t have gone back. But I did go back, and that’s when things clicked. I’m still skiing—and improving.
And I’m even having fun! If you’re thinking about trying downhill skiing, here are some things to keep in mind:
What to Expect:
It may take a while to figure out the basics of skiing and feel comfortable. The mechanics of skiing are based upon some very simple concepts, but they might be hard to grasp. If you don’t “get it” right away just keep trying and eventually you will! (There are a few people that pick it up incredibly fast, but they are not in the majority.)
This weekend I’ll be pedaling 18 miles around Portland, OR, in the Worst Day of the Year Ride, a bike event scheduled for the weekend that has historically had the worst weather each year. I’m hoping for sun and temps in the 70s; it’s looking more like rain and snow in the 30s.
Sounds pretty miserable, right? So why do so many people sign up for this ride, and sporting events like it? To remind ourselves that bad weather isn’t a good enough reason to stay inside? To get out of our comfort zones? To check another box on the bucket list? Whatever the reason, if you register for a ride you’re bound to find like-minded souls out there, sweating and suffering right alongside you.
This week, much of the country was in the grip of the Polar Vortex, which is really just meteorologic hyperbole for, “frigid circulating winds that escaped from the North Pole.” If Today Show weatherman, Al Roker has calmed down, we can all calm down. In fact, now that the weather is back to plain ole cold and snow, we say, “Get outside and get your cold-weather workout awwwn.”
During the winter it’s tempting to bundle under a warm blanket and reach for a bag of Cheetos. Don’t do it. Grab your snow boots and your mittens! We’re going to show you 9 ways you can burn major calories in the snow without having to pay for pricey equipment or ski rental fees.
Walk – The added resistance of the snow helps tone and firm muscles.
Snowball Fight – Squat to pick up and form snowball before launching at your target.
Shovel the Driveway – Just remember to stretch first, use proper form and take breaks.
Sledding – Choose a steep hill so the walk up burns more calories. Then, hop on your sled, throw your hands up and yell, “WEEE” all the way down.
Snow Parkour – Go for a jog but don’t gingerly side-step snow piles, instead, leap over, around, and if the snow is packed, jump right on top.
Just like a tough weightlifting routine at the gym, shoveling snow is also hard work. Treat it as you would any hardcore yet safe and effective workout and you will gain the benefits just as you would a carefully designed exercise program.
The following yoga poses and shoveling tips can help keep you strong, fit and protect your body from injury when the sidewalk is knee-deep in snow.
A flexible spine is a healthy spine, especially when it comes to shoveling heavy snow. Practice this twist before and after shoveling.
Lie down on your back with your right knee pulled into your chest and your left leg extended on the floor. Reach for your right knee with your left hand and roll onto your left hip. Extend your right arm out to the side. Hold for 10 deep breaths and switch sides.
I am not a fan of cold weather in general. I wear layers – I mean two pairs of pants – at least December through February and often longer. Yet, I discovered last year that I really enjoy winter running, maybe even more than running in the summer. Running in falling snow is beautiful and peaceful. Since your body is working more while jogging, I’ve found I am more warm than when I walk the dog wearing more layers and heavy clothing. My friend just purchased some Lululemon gear he says is extremely warm; I would love to review it for you, but it is outside my price range. Luckily, it should cost very little to outfit yourself to run all winter long.
The best place to start with any running list is the shoes. I wear regular running shoes. You will just want to ensure that they have sufficient support and traction as you will likely be running on slick or uneven ground. If you run with your dog, you may want to leave him or her at home unless they are well-trained or unable to pull you, or you may end up being pulled off your path due to the slick snow or ice. I have run a 5k with a Great Dane, but he outweighs me and is too excitable for more than winter walks.