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8 Great Things To Do Instead Of Staying At Home In This Cold Weather

8 Great Things To Do Instead Of Staying At Home In This Cold Weather

Winter is a particularly challenging time for those trying to keep their body in shape. The low temperatures tend to keep people inside most of the time, there is a lot of great food to tempt us during the holidays, and since we all wear more clothes that can easily hide those few extra pounds, we tend to become less concerned with the way we look.

If you don’t want to be one of those people who suddenly start obsessing about their weight when spring comes and people start wearing less and less clothing, then I suggest doing some outdoor exercises during the winter. A good workout doesn’t have to be a grueling experience and you don’t even need to find the extra time to drive to and from the gym—there are number of fun outdoor activities that are very effective at helping you lose that holiday gut. Besides, exercising outside in cold weather has some unique advantages: your body burns additional calories just trying to keep itself warm, and being active during the cold months also helps you keep all the nasty illnesses at bay. So, let’s look at some great outdoor winter exercises.

1. Running

Running is generally considered to be one of the best outdoor exercises—you can improve cardiovascular health, gain endurance or explosiveness depending on how you train, and develop some nice-looking legs. Running in cold weather can be a fun experience for a number of reasons: there are fewer people around to stare at you, the snow can add an additional level of difficulty, and you won’t overheat or dehydrate as easily as you would during the hot summer months. Besides these obvious benefits, there is something to be said about the beautiful look of a city covered in snow that people rarely take the time to appreciate.

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2. Cross-Country Skiing

One of the more physically demanding sports out there, cross-country skiing engages pretty much all the muscles of your body and requires some serious endurance. It’s a great sport to get involved in, but you can also just have a few friends come along for a fun afternoon without really competing against each other. You need to invest more money into this sport than you would with some of the other options on this list, but it is well worth it.

Cross country skiing

    3. Ice Skating

    Ice skating is great for everyone looking for a way to get some low-impact exercise—from toddlers to granddads and grandmas. It can greatly strengthen your legs, particularly the inner thighs that don’t really get worked too often, and won’t put any unnecessary stress on your joints—well, technically, you could fall, and wrist and ankle sprains have been known to happen, but as long as you are careful it is a pretty safe way to stay active during the winter.

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    4. Ice hockey

    If you live in a colder climate, there are few physical activities you can do during the winter that can come even close to the level of fun and conditioning that you will get from playing ice hockey. You only need a few pieces of equipment, some ice and a bunch of people who are tired of sitting inside all day, and you can spend a whole afternoon burning calories while having fun. After an hour on the ice you won’t need to feel bad for reaching for that big cup of hot chocolate—at that point you’ve earned it.

    5. Team snowball fights

    For those of you who prefer hanging out with other people and working with a team rather than going out for a long run on your own, a good old snowball fight can be a great way to get in some light to moderate cardio during the winter. You combine short bursts of running that give your legs a good workout with throwing motions that engage the arms and the core, which makes for a decent workout. This is probably the most fun of all outdoor exercises. Add to this the fact that snowball fights can last a pretty long time, since everyone is having a lot of fun, and you can end up burning up a good part of those holiday dinner calories.

    6. Pulling sleds

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    Pulling sleds

      If you have small children or you are visiting family members with small children, then there is no better way to have fun while getting a great exercise than pulling sleds. You basically just have a few kids hop on a sled, grab the rope and start pulling them across the snow. Your legs, core and upper body will all benefit from this exercise and you will build up some stamina as well.

      7. Hiking

      This form of exercise dates back to the very roots of our species, and was for a long time an integral part of our survival. The important thing to remember is to dress in layers, have good hiking boots and spend some time on preparations. A good long hike will tire you out quite a bit, particularly in cold weather, so it is good to have a bunch of snacks with you. The best thing about it is that you will be spending so much energy walking uphill with extra weight on your back, finding firewood and preparing a fire, plus having your body working tirelessly to keep warm, that you can afford to have a big meal when you set up camp. Be sure to pack a first aid kit, signal flare and several fire-starting options to keep things on the safe side.

      8. A friendly wrestling match

      Wrestling can tire you out pretty quickly, especially if you go all out and move fast. The great thing about winter is that there is a lot of snow that serves as a natural cushion for your falls, so you don’t have to worry too much about anyone getting injured. You don’t even have to know the first thing about wrestling—just grab your partner and try to off-balance them and bring them to the ground. Even a quick two-to-three-minute wrestling session will have you gasping for air and your muscles burning if you are not used to it.

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      These are some of the best activities that combine exercise and fun, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with your own unique outdoor exercise for the cold months. The most important thing is to stay active, stay healthy and avoid the near hibernation that most people fall into during winter.

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on January 14, 2019

      7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

      7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

      From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

      What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

      1. Take the scenic route.

      Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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      Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

      2. Distract yourself.

      No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

      3. Listen to music or podcasts.

      There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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      4. Bring a friend.

      Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

      Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

      5. Accessorize.

      There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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      For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

      6. Compete.

      A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

      7. Relax.

      The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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      With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

      Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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