Are the cold January temps limiting your workouts to indoors only? While it may not be the most favorable weather to explore the great outdoors, when you analyze our top ten calorie burner list, you just may change your mind about outdoor fitness in the cold weather months. The data contained in this list is based on one hour of activity for a 175 pound person of average height. This data is assuming moderate effort at each activity, and obviously you can expend more or fewer calories based on effort, clothing, wind, steepness, terrain, etc. Try something new and have fun while getting fit, and extra points for including the kids and/or grandkids! Note: building a snow man did not make our list (did not burn enough calories) and a snowball fight also did not because although it does burn a ton of calories, it is difficult to sustain this activity for a full hour.
10. Sledding (452cal/hr): Who knew that an afternoon with the kids climbing that sledding hill over and over again would burn so many calories? Oh yes, I did, whew that is quite the workout I somehow forgot from childhood.
9. Broomball (452 cal/hr): Not to be confused with curling, broomball is considered “poor man’s hockey” with broom shaped sticks and a mini soccer ball sized broomball replacing the puck, and no ice skates are required. It’s less technical than hockey and a game everyone can enjoy, even if you are not Canadian. There is a local co-ed league right here in the Fox Valley at Tri-County Ice Arena if you seek a formal rec opportunity.
8. Shoveling snow (486 cal/hr): Getting work done while killing calories? Sounds like a double delight. Do be careful though. Eleven thousand people visit the hospital annually from injuries associated with snow shoveling, and 7% of these cases are heart attacks due to exertion in the cold. Watch your form as well, or you will be visiting us at MotionWorks for your sore, achy back (bend you knees and hips, not your back, and lift light loads).
7. Downhill Skiing (486 cal/hr): For downhill skiing aficionados, it’s hard to call something this fun a work-out!
6. Snowboarding (502 cal/hr): For the downhill skier looking for a challenge while utilizing a few extra calories, try shreddin’ the gnar instead!
5. Ice Hockey (527 cal/hr): Being able to stay upright in hockey skates is a pre-requisite, but once you get hooked, it’s hard to hang up the skates, and anywhere there is ice is another opportunity to play!
4. Ice skating (567 cal/hr): Cue the Skating Song from the Charlie Brown holiday special, but pretty as it looks, ice skating burns tons of calories!
3. Cross Country Skiing (648 cal/hr): It may not be as glamorous as downhill skiing, but it certainly can be quiet and picturesque after a fresh snowfall, and a great way to slim down to boot!
2. Snow shoeing (648 cal/hr): No trails closeby for a winter season work-out? Strap on some snow shoes and blaze your own trails for one of the best winter work-outs you can do.
1. Fat tire snow biking (750 cal/hr): Who said you have to put your bike away in winter? While it is not legal to use your fat bike on snowmobile or cross country trails, there are dedicated trails throughout the state of Wisconsin, from Door County to the rolling hills of the Kettle Moraine in Southeast Wisconsin. You can bike on a groomed single track trail or on fresh powder. There is even a Fat Tire Birkie held on the normal Birkiebiner trails in early March in Hayward, Wisconsin.