Nutrition

6 winter activities to fall in love with

©iStockphoto.com/Maridav Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/Maridav

Nutrition

6 winter activities to fall in love with

With winter in full swing, bringing slushy streets and sub-zero temperatures, it's tempting to forgo outdoor exercise in favour of some quality time curled up on the couch with the remote control. But, with so many seasonal activities available, now is the perfect time to get moving and add something new to your workout routine – or rekindle your love of an old favourite.

According to Canada's Physical Activity Guide adults should be accumulating between 30 and 60 minutes of moderate physical exercise daily – and that doesn't change during the winter months. So if you feel like you've been spending more time moping than moving, it's time to get outside and get active. Not only will the physical activity boost your spirits, but being outdoors is also a great way to up your vitamin D intake and stay healthy and alert.

Here are six family-friendly ways to get active and beat those winter fitness blahs.

Before you start, remember to check weather reports and dress accordingly, and take five or 10 minutes to do a warm-up beforehand to get your heart rate up and muscles ready for some activity.

Tobogganing
Remember those days when you were coasting down the neighbourhood hill, and then dreading the epic trudge back to the top with your sled in tow? It's time to get back out there with the kids and relive those childhood memories, because, as it turns out, tobogganing is the perfect winter whole body workout, targeting the glutes and quads in particular. 

Calories burned per hour: 400

Skating
Whether it's at the local arena, or on a frozen pond, ice skating is a fun way for people of all ages to get active during the winter months. By doing some laps at a moderate pace, you can give yourself a good cardio workout, and strengthen your abs, calves, glutes and quads.  And, by swinging your arms while you skate, you can tone your shoulders and arms as well.

Calories burned per hour: 300

Hiking
A winter hike with the kids is a great way to get some fresh air, and sunshine while exploring a local nature trail. Spend the afternoon searching for animal tracks in the snow, bring a digital camera to capture scenery and wildlife, and finish up the day with a thermos of hot chocolate. Though not as aerobic  as some workouts, you still work your quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings.

Calories burned per hour: 400

Page 1 of 2Snowshoeing
More intensive than a winter hike, snowshoeing is an easy way to get your heart rate up and give your legs a great low-impact workout. It's also an excellent way to explore the great outdoors without fear of slipping or sinking as you hike on pristine snow-covered winter trails. Snowshoeing alone targets your abs, quads and calves, and by using poles you can work your arms at the same time.

Calories burned per hour: 475

Skiing
Nothing beats the exhilaration of swooping down the slopes, and this high-intensity activity works your whole body while strengthening your core muscles. Whether joining the kids on the bunny hill, or winding your way down a black diamond trail, you can spend an afternoon getting a great cardio workout, while toning your abs, quads, glutes and triceps.

Find out about hills in your area at www.skiingincanada.ca

Calories burned per hour: 400

Cross-country skiing
As one of the biggest calorie burners on the list, cross country skiing is a fun way to explore the outdoors and cover a lot of ground at the same time. With courses marked out throughout Canada's parks system, it's easy to find a nearby trail to tackle, and you can spend the day working your abs, shoulders, arms, glutes, and thighs as you go.

Check out www.canadatrails.ca for information on trails in your area.

Calories burned per hour: 475

• Approximate calories burned by a 145lb woman

Read more:
7 tips for maintaining fitness motivation
How to tone your body
5 kitchen tools that will help you lose weight

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Nutrition

6 winter activities to fall in love with

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