Take your workout into the snow for big-time fitness gains


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It might seem unconventional to exercise outdoors in the midst of treacherous winter weather as opposed to taking a trek to the gym, but having fun in the snow — in spite of frigid conditions — has serious health benefits that can improve your physique.

Your body naturally works harder to stay warm during exercise in cold weather, which enables you to burn more calories without ramping up your workout regimen. Still, it’s important to be smart in the snow. Take proper precaution when exercising outdoors during harsh winter climate, but also be sure to have fun while doing it.

Try a variety of different types of outdoor activity in the snow to burn more calories. Brisk walking in packed snow burns 60% more calories than walking on paved road. The added resistance of the snow, in comparison to a flat surface, tones muscle mass.

Other adrenaline-pumping “big muscle” winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing. An individual that maintains an average level of physical fitness should be able to burn approximately 200 to 300 calories in 30 minutes of cold-weather exercise.

If you’re a snow-craving workout aficionado, focus on exercises that force you to use specific muscle groups. High-octane cold weather exercises include feet drags, frozen lawn lunges, military marches and snow shuffles. Each activity can be executed without the use of free weights or added equipment. The added resistance that snow induces on regular bodily motions, such as walking, ultimately promotes higher calorie burn and increased muscular development.