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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Winter Workouts, No Gym Needed

Now that we're deep in the middle of winter, you may have given into the temptation to stay indoors and escape the elements. It's easy this time of year to become less active and avoid the gym (New Year's resolution or not). Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay fit during the winter, even without a trip to the gym.

First Thing's First

These aren't your typical workouts. That's because there are no weights, but plenty of work. Before you create a home gym, think about all the chores that need to be completed during the winter: shoveling snow and splitting wood count as exercise too. Then, after the work is done, it's time for some winter recreation fun that's true to the exercise theme. So, don't allow the cold temperature or snow keep you from venturing outdoors. Dress for the elements and get outside.  

Dress for Success

Dress in layers and try to avoid cotton. Instead, choose breathable base layer tops and bottoms that wick moisture and outerwear that repels water. Choose mid-layers that are fleece, wool, down or a breathable synthetic. A warm beanie, neck gaiter, face mask, balaclavas and gloves are also important to have on hand. Don't forget to pick-up a pair of ski-specific or wool socks that will help prevent frozen toes.

Get to Work

Split. It's cold outside and a fire sure would be nice. Splitting and hauling wood can burn over 500 calories an hour. So grab the axe, head out to the wood pile, and get swinging. You'll be training cardiovascular health, while strengthening your arms, back and core. 

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Shovel. When the snow begins to fall, it's time to bust out the shovel. A necessary evil, clearing the sidewalk is also a great way to be more active during the more sedentary winter months. You can burn up to 250 calories per half-hour while building muscle as a result of the bending, lifting and tossing that goes into snow removal.  

Ski. Many people love to ski, but instead of hitting the slopes try going cross-country. Cross-country skiing is a total body workout that works every major muscle group as you push and pull your body over the snow-covered terrain. This low-impact exercise is a fun and efficient calorie burner. In an hour you can burn between 600 and 1000 calories!

Takeaway

Winter doesn't have to result in weight gain or cabin fever. If the weather keeps you from making it to the gym, look for creative ways to burn calories while completing chores around the house. Remember to dress for the elements and stay hydrated whether you're working or playing in the snow.  

Joe Vennare is an accomplished fitness entrepreneur who develops, instructs and writes about innovative fitness programs. He is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio, and Race Day Domination.



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