Now that the first blanket of snow has fallen it is definitely feeling like the Christmas season! Although it is a time for wrapping up nice and warm and feeling cosy we are all guilty of sitting in front of a nice fire and never wanting to move in to the cold outdoors again. And because of this we do tend to eat lots and to go in to hibernation mode. To be fair, we all get a bit lazy and start to convince ourselves that we need the ‘few extra pounds’ that we gain in order to keep warm and to remain healthy at a time when flu’s are going around and we need to be strong enough to ward them off. So there is an element of truth to this but honestly, we would all probably be a lot happier and able to fend off the ‘winter blues’ if we just remained active like we have always been. As a kid there was nothing more exciting than waking up one morning to a whiter than white scene outside our bedroom windows and why? Well for one it usually meant time off school but it also meant sledging. I didn’t even need a proper ‘sledge’, a big bit of cardboard also did the trick!
But as a grown up (and as a woman) sledging just does not appeal so much to me now and I doubt it would tempt me from my warm flat in to the numbing cold. So I began to think of sports that I could do during the winter months which would keep me active but also be pleasant. I also consider the idea of going away to Xmas, but not to warmer climates, taking the ferry to France and continuing my attempts at skiing for example. Here are a few I have found:
Myself and my girlfriends don’t particularly enjoy exercising but we all enjoy a good power walk. It’s possibly one of the easiest ways to burn off some calories and what’s better is that if you do it with a group of friends you don’t even notice you are doing it while you chat away to one another! But I feel a bit stuck when the snow comes and everything is slushy on the ground and the surface is slippery it makes even walking difficult.
But there is great news girls…snowshoeing is the new trend! A snowshoe is a piece of footwear designed for walking over the snow so its the perfect way to stick to your walking workout regardless of the weather. The beauty is that snowshoeing with poles works virtually your entire body and burns around 540 calories per hour. Shoes are cheap to rent and can be used to go along local trails and guided tours can be found.
2. Downhill Skiing
Skiing is another extremely social sport from taking in the views at the top of the mountain and having a natter on the chair lift to getting to know your ski instructor. But the sport doesn’t have to be scary and terrifying as you probably imagine yourself hurtling down a ski slope unable to stop. Downhill skiing is now the most popular snow sport with an increasing amount of female participants year on year. Don’t be frightened as you can take the lessons at your own pace and even attend female only lessons. Even better, downhill skiing works the buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, back and shoulders and burns approximately 420 calories an hour.
3. Ice Skating
If you prefer a less competitive and more laid back type of winter hobby then why not try ice skating or ‘leisure skating’ as it is sometimes fittingly known. Skating for one hour burns approximately 500 calories and is great at giving an overall body workout. Whats best is that the whole family can enjoy skating and there is no competitive nature to the activity making it a laid back and dare I say it but fun bit of exercise. The more you partake the more your confidence will grow allowing you to burn even more calories so that is a good motivator too. Another advantage of the sport is the accessibility of rinks which are now in most local areas making it an easy hobby to keep.
Of course, curling is a sport which you can partake in any time of the year but with your usual summer exercising routine placed on hold, you may want to check out this sport this winter. Growing in popularity due to it becoming an official event at the Olympics in 1998, more women are now enjoying the benefits of joining their local curling team. Pushing and sliding the heavy, granite stones across the curling sheet towards the target is sure to get your heart rate pumping and up to 400 calories burning. Whats more, you can socialise and make friends in the process.
Since its creation the sport snowboarding has been extremely popular but more so since the Olympics and mostly amongst males. However, as more women have been taking to skiing it seems they are also giving snowboarding a go! The sport uses the calf muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps to guide the board; ankle and feet muscles for steering; and abdominal muscles for balance.An estimated 480 calories can be burned in an hour! Apparently, recent studies show that snowboarding massively enhances your mood level so it’s perfect for fighting winter glum.
6. Cross-Country Skiing
Rather than flinging yourself down a hill on ski’s and praying not to fall over perhaps having to propel yourself across the snow sounds more like your kind of sport. Cross country skiing is becoming very popular amongst both males and females as a new kind of endurance sport. The good thing is that the sport can be kept up as a hobby by using inside ski tunnels once the snow is gone. As it is an aerobic sport it takes stamina and determination but the results speak for themselves with the ability to burn between 500 and 650 calories per hour depending on the effort level. This sport provides an all over body workout.
So there you have the six most popular winter sports for women available for you to give a try. But is these sports still seem too daunting for you then there is always sledging with the kids or my personal favourite….Christmas shopping (in New York of course). A full week of trailing the city for the best buys will give me enough of a workout!
Jade typically writes of travelling and stopping for City breaks, Europe being her destination of choice where she indulges in good foods and on occasion skiing.