Enjoying the Winter Wonderland

Posted on Dec 20, 2016

Posted in: Uncategorized

Now that winter has come and the snow has fallen many people hibernate and seek shelter until more desirable temperatures return.  This doesn’t have to be the case, you can get out and enjoy the many opportunities the snow brings.  Whether you’re an avid enthusiast or new to the winter activities scene there are several choices for you to try.  The majority of us are familiar with options like downhill skiing, snowboarding and ice skating.  While these are all great activities, sometimes they can seem daunting or difficult to learn as a beginner.  I have listed some alternatives below that are great for newbies as well as seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Cross-country Skiing

Growing up in a rural area this was a winter activity I remember loving even as a child.  It requires very little equipment and unlike downhill skiing there is usually more miles of trail opportunities.  Cross-country skiing is a great low impact cardio workout.  Skiing for an hour at slow pace burns 400-500 calories an hour; if you speed up to a moderate pace you burn closer to 600 calories an hour.  Not bad for spending an hour taking in some beautiful winter wonderland.  Several parks and ski hills offer equipment rental if you’re interested in trying this sport out.

 

Snowshoeingsnowshoes

I will admit, this is not an activity I have done first hand, but am interested in trying.  Like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing is low impact.  It mainly works your hamstrings, quads and calf muscles but if you add poles you get the added benefits of an upper body workout too.  The amount of calories you burn depends greatly on terrain, speed and snow density.  Expect to burn about 350 calories in an hour on a flat trail with a slow to moderate pace.   If you add some hills, poles and speed to your course you can burn upwards of 800 calories an hour.  Another nice thing about snowshoeing is you can participate even if you’re a city dweller, there are many walking trails to utilize.

 

Fat Tire Biking

Fat tire biking is relatively new, only gaining attention within the past few years.  If you’re unfamiliar with the concept it’s basically a  mountain bike fitted with fat tires.  While they can be ridden over several different terrains they have gained popularity in this region due to their ability to ride through snow.  Fat tire bikes are pretty user friendly due to the size of their tires they are easy to learn for beginners and provide a cushioned ride over varying terrain.  The calorie benefits of these bikes comes into play when you consider the terrain you will be riding and the fact that a lot of these bikes only offer one speed.  One speed means you are going to need to use your legs to push through the snow and hills.  Again, this is an activity you can do whether you’re in the city on country.  The NEW Zoo in Green Bay offers bike rentals and 2-6 miles of trails to ride.  There are several parks and rental outlets available, check your local area.

fattire

 

Hopefully you one or all of the above activities inspired you to go out and enjoy the winter.  The best part of all of them is getting outside and enjoying the season.  Unfortunately winter can sometimes put people’s work-out routine into a boring indoor only rut.  Get outside, breathe in some fresh air and benefit your health at the same time.