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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 September 18, 2020

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

      1. Exercise Daily

      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

      The basic nutritional advice includes:

      • Eat unprocessed foods
      • Eat more veggies
      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

        5. Watch Out for Travel

        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

        6. Start Slow

        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

        Final Thoughts

        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

        More Tips on Getting in Shape

        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

        Reference

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