By Assata McKenzie
How can we make the most of hibernation season, aka winter? Take the Winter Challenge and winterize your next workout!
When it’s moderately cold outside, we can take on the challenge of outdoor workouts that we don’t necessarily have access to in the summer months. Fight the temptation to say indoors and hibernate, and embrace the season.
We already have an idea of the benefits of workouts in general; better sleep, increased weight loss/maintenance, increased muscle mass, decrease of bad stress, etc. However, we can add to these benefits by getting outdoors more often during the winter months.
Some of the top benefits of a Winterized Workout include; increasing Vitamin D (winter sun exposure, while not as intense as summer sun, helps the body to produce Vitamin D), decreasing the chance of infection (common “winter viruses” lurk indoors, i.e. on door handles, therefore, getting outside lessens our exposure to indoor germs), and combating the winter blues (many studies have shown a correlation between movement and decreased feelings of seasonal affective disorder, also know as S.A.D).
Watch your workout world transform with these top Winterized options:
- Inline skating becomes ice skating
- Summer camping becomes winter camping
- Ball hockey becomes ice hockey
- Walking becomes brisk winter walking, snow shoeing, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or even tobogganing
Honourable mention goes to these Canadian favourites that need no winterizing, because they are already winter awesome:
- Ice fishing
- Having a snow ball fight and/or building a fort
If calorie burn is your motivation, check out these averages based on a 150lb person, exercising for just 15-20 minutes (the number in brackets equals average caloric burn for just one hour):
- Brisk walk = 120 (360)
- Ice Sledding/Tobogganing = 169 (585)
- Snowboarding or skiing = 216 (649)
- Snow Shoeing = 240 (721)
- Skating = 296 (889)
- Just having fun and enjoying life outdoors = endless (J)
Being honest, you might not be a ‘Winter Workout Happy Person’, so here are some tips to help you get motivated:
- Wearable technology – easy tracking
- Workout buddy – accountability and friendly competition
- Proper workout gear – research your targeted activity to make a worthy investment for maximum comfort and enjoyment.
- Plan your route/time out knowing that in as little as 15-20 minutes you can reap the benefits of an outdoor winter workout
- Continue to hydrate before, during, and after your workouts
So, are you up for the Winterized Workout Challenge?