If you’re like many of us, the cold winter days send you into a form of hibernation. Nothing seems more enticing than wrapping up in a blanket with a book or a movie and a plate of hot cookies… but there are so many reasons to drag yourself off the couch and get moving! For one, you’ll feel better, both physically and mentally. Exercise relieves stress, anxiety, and depression, which may affect us more in the cold, dark, winter months. It energizes the body and improves focus. And for those of you who have made New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, be healthier, or lose weight — being active is a critical step! Getting your whole family involved improves family bonds and family health. We’ve chosen activities below that are fun, family-friendly, and sure to burn calories in the process.
Active Outdoor Activities
Yes, it’s cold — but with the right winter gear, you can still enjoy hiking, running, and more! I find being outdoors through the winter improves my mood and helps me tolerate the cold days. Bundle up — I’m partial to down outerwear with thin under layers made from wool or silk so that I can still have full mobility. If you live in a region with lots of snow, you have some great options for outdoor exercise:
- Skiing or Snowboarding (428 calories)
- Sledding (396 calories)
- Building a Snowman (285 calories)
- Snowshoeing (500 calories)
But even if you have yet to see a single snowflake, there are other fun ways to get moving outside this winter:
- Hiking (429 calories)
- Outdoor Skating Rink (342 calories)
- Biking (571 calories)
- Flag Football (571 calories)
It’s Too Cold to Exercise
OK, so some days it just doesn’t feel very appealing to bundle up and head out into the cold. Not to worry — you can stay active with indoor activities, too! Some family favorites:
- Indoor Rock Climbing (500 calories)
- Trampolining (252 calories)
- Bowling (121 calories)
- Indoor Ice Skating (342 calories)
- Roller Skating (548 calories)
- Family Yoga Classes (179 calories)
- Indoor Swimming (428 calories)
There are even a few fun activities to get the whole family off the couch without leaving the house. Fold up clean socks into balls and have an indoor snowball fight. Play charades. Have 5-minute breaks every hour to do push-ups and jumping jacks together. Organize indoor Olympic games. Turn up the music and have an impromptu dance party. You might not burn as many calories as you would with outdoor sports and games, but anything is better for your body than sitting watching Netflix all day!
Note: Calories burned are estimates for one hour at moderate intensity, based on a 150-pound person. Actual calorie burn may vary significantly depending on effort, body composition, and duration of activity.