Winter Workouts

Winter workouts do not have to always be indoors. When the weather turns cold, you don't have to put your fitness routine on ice. Here are some outdoor ideas to stay fit!

Break Out the Shovel
Pay someone to clear snow from your driveway?, no way. Besides burning nearly 400 calories per hour, shoveling snow develops muscular endurance, strength and power. But be safe: Minimize the amount of snow on each shovelful, and bend from your knees and hips, not your back." Dress appropriately. If the sun is out wear sunglasses to protect you eyes from the added glare

Split wood
If you're looking for a vigorous outdoor winter workout, how about splitting wood. This robust outdoor activity burns a relatively large number of calories per hour. For a 150 lb. person, splitting wood for one hour burns 430 calories, about the same as vigorous weight lifting or cross-country hiking. Add to your workout by carrying, stacking or loading and unloading split wood into a wheelbarrow.

To split wood efficiently by hand, use a splitting maul, a tool that looks like a cross between an axe and a hammer. Time your swings so that the head of the maul hits the wood when the handle is parallel to the ground and not before --- that's when the head is moving at its highest speed, according to Popular Mechanics magazine. Use an old tree stump or a large piece of wood as your chopping block. Engage your arms, core and legs as you drive the maul down. Focus on driving "through" the wood not just making contact with it. ( wear protective goggles! )

Cross Country Skiing
Like snowshoeing, cross country skiing is an aerobic sport that works all body parts (especially your biceps, glutes, hamstrings, triceps and quads) without stressing your joints. Burn 560 calories hour or more with a brisk cross country ski excursion. You can ski almost anywhere: a trail, conservation area, local park, or even a farmer's field. You can make your workout as gentle or intense as you desire.

Snow Hiking
A step up from walking or gentle jogging, walking around in snow, especially deep snow, can be great exercise, too. It requires more effort from legs and heart than simple walking, and the only additional equipment needed is good, insulated boots that will keep your feet dry and warm.

Just because its cold do not neglect hydration and proper nutrition. Pay special attention to your toes and fingers keeping them dry and warm to avoid frost bite. Also dress in layers, and as your body heats up remove them accordingly.

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