Does anyone else out there get the winter blues where all you want to do is wear a hoodie and pajama pants, lay on your couch covered in blankets and watch movies? I know I’m not the only one. Winter is a hard season to get through. It’s cold and dark all the time. This can often have an effect on your workout routine. It’s not fun to drive through ice and snow to get to the gym, nor is it a picnic in the park running outside when it’s below freezing. And of course, the holidays are thrown into the mix, when we eat huge meals and tons of sugary goodies. When you think about that, the couch doesn’t sound so nice anymore. It’s important to stay active and healthy year round. Staying active will actually make you feel more energized, happy, and lead to a better you. There are plenty of fun ways to stay active this winter and even make the most out of what mother nature gives you.

1. Snowboarding

snowboarding

Snowboarding is an exciting way to get a full-body workout and embrace the cold snow! This sport provides a cardio workout and can burn calories without putting too much stress on your joints. It’s a great way to build muscle definition in your legs and use your core. Plus, you look really cool doing it. Think Shaun White.

2. Ice skating

ice skating

Ice skating is such a fun way to stay active. One of the best parts about ice skating is that it’s such a social activity, so you can bring along your family, friends, or even a date for some fun. It won’t even feel like a workout that you are forcing yourself to do. Not that great of an ice skater? Consider taking lessons. Not only will you be learning something new, but you’ll have scheduled time for exercise.

3. Skiing

Skiing is a wonderful activity for cardiovascular health and muscle strength. You can take it easy on yourself and have a relaxing experience or you could try a more intense workout and ride the slopes all day. This is another social activity in which you’ll have fun bringing along friends and family. Be sure to protect your eyes and avoid the glare on the snow with a good pair of skiing sunglasses.

4. Snowshoeing

snowshoeing

Looking for an option a little bit less intense than skiing? Snowshoeing is a very popular activity. Races are held for the more intense, but there are also many trails that can be taken at different intensity levels. Snowshoeing can be done any place where there is snow and is a great way to explore your natural surroundings.

5. Sledding

When’s the last time you went sledding? It seems like an activity that gets left behind in childhood. Do you remember how thrilling it is to go down a huge hill? This is such an exciting activity, but a lot of people don’t think of it as exercise. However, what happens each time you make it to the bottom of the hill? You drag your sled and layers of snow-soaked clothing back up that hill to go again. Think about how wonderful that is for your legs and to build endurance.

When thinking about winter sporting activities, it’s important to think about safety. Don’t go down a dangerous slope if you haven’t been skiing before. Avoid sledding on hills that have lots of trees. Wear layers to keep warm and protect your eyes. Not many people think about the damage the sun can do to your eyes in the winter, but wearing sunglasses is just as important as it is in the summer. A good pair of polarized sunglasses is a great way to reduce the glare from the snow, but might not be the best idea during skiing or sledding as it may make it hard to distinguish snow from icy patches. In those cases, a good pair of sport sunglasses may be key. Try this resource to get the scoop on sports and polarized sunglasses and see what pair best fits your activity. I hope this post helps you find a fun way to beat the winter blues and get active.

Photos: voga.org, weheartit.com