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Exercising may not be the first thing on your mind as temperatures begin to drop, and snow begins to fall this year. Nature tells us to sleep a little longer in the morning, break out your sweaters, and sip on hot beverages. But there are plenty of fun activities you can do in the wintertime to burn calories, build strength and stay happy! Here are a few of Leduc Physios’ favorite winter activities and how they keep you fit!
1. Skiing targets the quadriceps, glutes and hips, building strong muscles. Choosing more difficult runs will create a better workout, especially for the quads. Snowboarding is more of a whole-body sport. The calves, shins, lower back and abdominals work to control the legs and rotate the torso. If you don’t know how to snowboard, maybe it’s the year to try.
2. Snowball Fights may not seem like the most effective workout in the world, but throwing motions use muscles in the shoulder and chest, requires core stability, and improves hand-eye coordination. So go ahead and start a snow battle, your upper body will thank you!
3. Tobogganing is more rewarding when you consider the great workout you get walking up the hill (which seems like a mountain). You are building strength in your glutes, hamstrings and quads walking on such an incline, and your cardiovascular system will be working extra hard to supply those big muscles with enough oxygen!
4. Skating strengthens almost every bit of the lower body, from the lower abdominal muscles all the way to the ankles. Abductors, quads, glutes, lower abdominal and back muscles drive skating motions. Grab a hockey stick and try some puck handling for some shoulder activation!
5. Build a Snow Fort for a full body workout as you carve your way into a snowbank, or stack snow for an igloo. Shoulders, forearms, and upper back muscles work to carve and shovel snow, while your core, glutes, quads and hamstrings help you get in, out, up, and down to build.
6. Snowshoeing through the deep snow in thick winter wear is a great aerobic workout and can improve cardiovascular health. The paddle-shaped shoes require a modified step which works the hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves. You will also improve your balance as you try to walk through the fluffy snow.
7. Snowmen don’t just show off your creative side, they take muscles to build! Rolling the snow into balls works out your shoulders and arms and lifting the snowballs up requires glute, quad and hamstring strength. Don’t forget to dress him/her up!
8. Dance! The holidays are filled with reasons to celebrate, and dancing is a great way to burn some calories and increase cardio after feasting with friends and family. One hour of dancing can burn between 200 and 400 calories!
9. Make your front yard festive with some Snow Angels. Pulling your arms and legs through thick fluffy snow will work your shoulders, traps, pecs, lats, abductors, adductors, and glutes.
10. For a cozy end to a chilly winter day, Chop some Firewood to build some muscle in your core, back, shoulders, traps and arms before you curl up on front of a roaring fire!
Have a fit winter, and Happy Holidays from the staff at Leduc Physio!