Shovel and ski your way to skinny

Fitness with Ferritto
Amy Ferritto

With the holiday’s approaching, it can be easy to lose sight of your healthy lifestyle. With all the sweet treats, drinks, and busyness that Christmas time brings, making time to exercise can be quite difficult. The snow, however, brings workout options that are disguised as fun winter activities. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and even shoveling provide an opportunity to spend time with family and enjoy the snow while burning calories and working key muscle groups.

In my opinion, the most effective outdoor winter workout that someone can participate in is cross country-skiing. This activity is the ultimate full body workout since it utilizes effort from both the upper and lower body. Not only are the major muscle groups pushed to propel the skier forward, but the smaller secondary muscles are also used to stabilize the skier and aid in balance. On top of working every muscle in your body, cross country skiing can actually burn over 900 calories an hour which is more than most other standardized forms of cardio. You would never know that you’re getting a great work while enjoying the fresh fallen snow and pine trees.

Snowshoeing is also a great way to burn calories while enjoying the outside weather. Depending on the speed that someone who is snow shoeing goes and the condition of the snow, you can burn between 400-1,000 calories in an hour. It also, like skiing, utilizes even the smallest muscles as stabilizers. The only inconvenience is that gear is necessary to snowshoe. Before you go out to snowshoe, make sure you do research on the best gear, trails, and places to rent equipment if purchasing it is not an option.

Shoveling, although considered a tedious chore, can actually be a suitable replacement for an afternoon workout. Since shoveling is something that needs to be done anyways, it is a sneaky way to burn off some holiday calories. With so many snow-blowers and electric shovels on the market, it can be easy to lose the benefits of shoveling snow by hand. Moral of the story? Shovel. It’s good for you.

As the winter months drag along and the holiday treats come in by the pound, getting outside can be a fun way to shake up the normal fitness routine.

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Amy Ferritto

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