Winter Activities For The Whole Family

Fun Things The Whole Family Can Do

The weather outside is frightful! But don’t let the deep freeze discourage you from getting outside and getting active. If you dress properly — in layers, taking care to protect your hands, feet, and ears, maybe you’re also wearing the best rated cooling towels — and if you choose fitness activities that are fun, you and your family can actually look forward to working out in winter.

Winter activities, particularly when there’s snow on the ground, are good for strengthening balance muscles because of the uneven, slick surface. You should, however, take every precaution to prevent injuring yourself. It’s a great way to get your core muscles — the key to stabilizing your entire body — in shape for the spring. And underneath all those layers, you can burn some serious calories, too.

Sledding

Head to your local sledding range or park for a fun, aerobic workout. Sledding requires you to use multiple muscle groups to steer as you speed down the hills. You also exert effort while walking with your sled back up the hill so you can go down again.

In fact, walking uphill is where you get the most benefit because climbing hills is a very good aerobic exercise that’s also great for your leg muscles. How many calories you burn with this family fitness activity depends on how many back-and-forth trips you make and the steepness of the hill, but if you keep at it on a medium-height hill for just 30 minutes, you can burn about 240 calories.

Having Snowball Fights

It snowed, school just got canceled, and you can’t get to work. Make the most of it by hyping up the family for getting some good fun in the snow. You can burn anywhere from 200 to 400 calories an hour with this family fitness activity, depending on how high you build your snowmen. Some more snow activities to try: Build a fort, have an old-fashioned snowball fight and make snow angels. Playing in the show is certainly more fun than shoveling it, but you can torch 200 to 300 calories for every 30 minutes you spend clearing your driveway.

Ice Hockey

As a winter exercise, ice hockey has similar health benefits to ice skating. Gather a few friends together to play, and some friendly rivalry may keep you skating longer — and the longer you skate, the more calories you burn. Figure about 200 calories for a 20-minute period if you weigh about 150 pounds. Before you skate, ensure everyone is wearing the appropriate protective gear, even if you’re at a rink.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is another winter fitness activity that offers a total-body workout plus it’s great fun for family fitness. Snowshoeing will strengthen your leg muscles while getting your heart pumping and oxygen going into your lungs. At moderate speeds, figure that a 150-pound person will roast about 270 calories every 30 minutes.

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