How To Stay Fit and Active in Winter: The Top 10 Sports To Try
How to stay fit and active in winter can be challenging due to cold temperatures, early darkness, and inclement weather that may disrupt outdoor workouts or close gyms during severe snowstorms. However, neglecting exercise during this time can result in a loss of endurance and strength within one to three months.
The benefits of exercise persist throughout the year, and staying active during winter offers stress reduction and mental health benefits. Incorporating outdoor workouts in November and December can help establish a routine that is more likely to continue during the colder months of January and February.
Engaging in winter sports is an excellent way to remain fit and enjoy the season. Here are some winter activities to consider:
Downhill skiing keeps you active and builds endurance, working various muscle groups and enhancing your mood.
Downhill skiing is a high-speed ice race, with international competitions seeing players reach speeds of almost 130km/h. Athletes must maintain an aerodynamically efficient tuck position to reduce drag and maximize velocity. Both in the realm of FIS sports and recreational gaming, downhill skiing is often synonymous with alpine skating. The objective of the game is to swiftly descend icy mountains, racing down slopes to cross the finish line. Speed serves as the sole determinant for setting records in this sport.
Uphill Skiing (Skinning or Alpine Touring)
Uphill skiing involves ascending on skis, providing a cardio workout and an opportunity to connect with nature while strengthening multiple muscle groups.
Uphill skiing or skinning, involves ascending a mountain with skis, boots, and poles, then skiing back down the same route. It requires specialized gear, including adaptable boots and touring bindings. Snowboarders use split boards, and climbers utilize removable skins for traction during ascents.
Cross-country skiing targets leg muscles, the core, and the upper body, burning a significant number of calories.
Cross-country skiing, originating in Norway, utilizes skis and poles on groomed trails, with terrain ranging from flat to hilly. It transitioned into a competitive sport in the late 19th century with the advent of formal competitions.
Snowboarding offers a fun way to stay active, promoting muscle training, flexibility, balance, and mood improvement.
Snowboarding is a combination of several sports, like skateboarding and surfing. It has riders sliding down snow-covered slopes using specialized boots and bindings. It earned a spot in the Winter Olympics in 1988.
While the world has fallen in love with the elegance and grace of great figure skaters, such as Brian Boitano, Patrick Chan, Yuzuru Hanyu, and Michelle Kwan, to name a few, you, too can make the ice rink an active playground on winter.
Ice skating provides both cardiovascular and total body workouts, enhancing coordination, balance, and proprioception.
Ice skating, done on natural frozen lakes or indoor rinks, is both a recreational and competitive activity using ice skates.
Because a good and friendly match can uplift anyone's mood and get the body moving during winter, invite your friends for an ice hockey match.
Ice hockey combines aerobic and anaerobic elements, strengthening major muscle groups and providing mental benefits.
Ice hockey, a team sport played on an ice rink, involves sending the puck into the opponent's goal. Matches consist of three 20-minute periods, with the clock running only during play and teams changing ends periodically.
Snowshoeing offers a wild and adventurous alternative to hiking, engaging your lower body and burning calories.
Snowshoeing is the activity of walking on snow aided by specialized footwear called snowshoes, which distribute the weight over a wider surface area, providing better flotation and preventing sinking into the snow.
Curling demands accuracy, strategizing, and interval work, providing an effective workout and burning calories.
Curling, a team sport played on an ice rink, involves sliding large granite stones toward a target, or "house," to achieve the highest score.
Sledding is a thrilling winter pastime for families, providing exercise and excitement. It offers a simple way to build leg muscles, elevate heart rate, and burn calories without the need for skiing or snowboarding skills.
Trail running engages different muscles than road or treadmill running. It can burn 10% more calories and strengthen various muscle groups, whether running uphill or downhill.
How to Layer up Your Winter Clothing for Outdoor Activities
In cold weather, your body constantly loses heat through thermal radiation, which is accelerated by dropping temperatures. Staying warm in winter requires more than just layering heavy clothing. Your winter attire must also manage moisture, retain body heat, and shield you from cold air to prevent heat loss.
To stay active in the winter, it's important to dress appropriately for the cold and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts, allowing your body to adapt safely. Get our detailed guide on how to layer up your active and sportswear in winter. But here's something in a nutshell:
The base layer is in direct contact with your skin. It is responsible for wicking moisture away from your body, drying quickly, and regulating your body temperature.
Choose snug-fitting, water-resistant materials, such as polyester or merino wool. Avoid using cotton, as it retains moisture and dries slowly. This layer includes items like briefs, long underwear, t-shirts, and ankle zip DWR thermal tights.
The middle insulating layer traps heat by retaining air close to your body. It can be made of natural fibers like wool or down or synthetic materials such as fleece or polyester, depending on weather conditions and activity type. For high-energy activities like cross-country skiing or running, choose synthetic fibers like polyester and fleece just like Baleaf's water-resistant mid-layer vest.
The outermost shell layer protects you from rain, wind, and snow. It allows perspiration to escape and is treated with a durable water-repellent finish to shed water easily. This layer should be roomy enough to fit over all your other layers without restricting your movement. Shell layers come in various categories based on their specific functions.
Check out our thermal hooded softshell windbreaker to protect you from the elements.
Stay Active Even in Winter
During the cold months, stay active by planning and avoid making excuses like "It's too cold" or "I'm too busy." #wemovetogether even in the freezing season.