Winter is no excuse not to exercise. Exercising outdoors in the winter can be fun and exhilarating. Read these tips and try these different types of butt-busting, calorie burning winter exercise!

1. Get the right exercise gear

Making sure to have the right gear for your winter workout is essential to your safety and enjoyment. Dress in layers, and make sure that your bottom layer is moisture wicking and your top layer protects against wind. Depending on how cold it is outside, you may want to add additional layers such as a fleece. Try to dress as if it is a bit warmer outside than it actually is to account for how you will feel once you start moving. Wearing something on your head is also important, because a large amount of your body heat can escape through your head. Bad circulation? Bring along a pair of mittens, gloves and warm socks.

2. Warm up before you heat up

Because of the cold weather, it is even more important to warm up your muscles before you work out, or you may be at risk for injury. Muscles may feel extra tight, so you want to make sure you warm them up by stretching and getting your heart rate up indoors before going outside for your workout.

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3. Cool down like winter

Cooling down is also essential at the end of your outdoor winter workout. Make sure you change clothes immediately after your workout, because once your sweat dries you will get really cold! Try to get inside quickly to stretch after your workout, especially if it the temperature is particularly low. After you stop exercising, the cold weather will cause y

our muscles to tense up even quicker, which may cause increased soreness the next day.

4. Eat power foods

During the winter, people are much more susceptible to colds – which can damper your winter exercise plans when you’re sick! Stay health by having a healthy diet plan. Choose antioxidant rich foods and superfoods like chlorella and reishi mushroom to protect you from any coughs or sniffles!  Be careful of processed foods or foods that my look healthy, but are healthy foods in disguise.

5. Hydrate!

You may think that just because it’s not hot out, you don’t need to drink much water. Wrong! It is still very important to hydrate after a winter workout. Your body works extra hard in the winter to keep your body warm. You also do sweat during winter workouts, though less than on a hot and humid day. Replenish your body with water after working out. If you went especially hard, make sure to add electrolytes or some salt to your next meal to replenish minerals.

6. Protect your skin

Surprise! You can get sunburnt in the winter too. The sun reflects very strongly against the whiteness of snow, so make sure you put sunscreen on your face before heading out to a day of activity in the winter. If you forget, you may come back from a day of beautiful day of sunny skiing with a sunburnt face and an embarrassing goggles tan.

7. Try these fun winter workouts!

Many of your favorite outdoor workouts can be enjoyed in the winter with the appropriate preparation and gear. However, try these winter-specific workouts for some added fun and variety!

  • Cross-country skiing: with only moderate intensity, this winter exercise burns over 540 calories per hour! It is also a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
  • Snow shoeing: another great way to enjoy scenery, snow shoeing can also burn over 540 calories per hour with moderate intensity. Bring a friend to chat with or enjoy the quiet, peacefulness of the winter outdoors alone. You might not even notice what a great workout you are getting!
  • Ice skating/Ice hockey: Ice skating and ice hockey can burn over 500 calories per hour and is great to get together with a group of people.
  • Snowboarding or Skiing: Though these are definitely on the expensive side of things, skiing and snowboarding are fun ways to get in shape this winter. Sometimes you can find early bird or “recent college grad” deals on season passes and equipment. They burn about 500 calories per hour, which lessens the guilt for après ski/snowboard fun.
  • Outdoor chores like walking the dog or snow shoveling: Make the boring chores like walking the dog or shoveling snow into a workout. Bring your iPod or a do it with a friend or family member. These activities can burn up to 400 calories per hour!
It’s easy to be healthy all-year round if you have the right tools and a little creativity! A healthy lifestyle with good diet and nutrition tools means you are healthier, stronger, and more powerful! Why let this slip over the winter?

KHolistic is a health and wellness resource that offers health advice, information, and an 8 week online health program.