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10 Wintertime Family Activities That Double As Exercise

There's no doubt about it: it's difficult to stay active when the temperature falls and there’s snow on the ground, so here are ten fun winter activities that the whole family can enjoy together—and burn calories while doing so!

1. SNOW SHOEING

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Creative Commons image via DCSL

Dust them off and strap them on, because snow shoeing is a fun activity that allows you to take advantage of the snow, rather than let it hinder your activity level! A 150-pound person will burn about 270 calories every 30 minutes while strengthening leg muscles and pumping the heart to allow more oxygen to circulate to the lungs. You can listen to your favorite tunes and snowshoe alone, or bring the whole family for a relaxing outdoor exercise outing.

 

2. SLEDDING

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Creative Commons image via skpy

Pack up the sleds and head to the nearest hill for a fun, effective workout with the family! Sledding downhill forces you to use specific muscle groups to control your balance on the sled, but more importantly, walking back up the hill after your race to the bottom provides a fantastic aerobic workout that can burn about 240 calories every 30 minutes. 

 

3. ICE SKATING

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Creative Commons image via IvanWalsh.com

 

Ice skating is a great, affordable way to get active during the winter. Many ice rinks allow you to rent skates at a low cost so you can round the rink at a reasonable speed and burn about 240 calories in 30 minutes. You might consider treating the kids to some low-fat hot chocolate after a long day of skating!

 

4. SNOWBALL FIGHT!

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Creative Commons image via Arenamontanus

Bundle up, pick your teams, pack up your biggest snowball and start the battle of the century! Running around in the snow during a snowball fight allows you to burn about 320 calories per hour. Play hard, because the losing team has to shovel the driveway!

 

5. SWIMMING INDOORS

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Creative Commons image via Randy Pertiet

Bring the family to your local indoor swimming pool or water park for a fun day splashing around while earning a total body workout! Depending on your level of intensity, you can burn anywhere from 300-500 calories per hour during your swim workout.

 

6. SNOW TUBING

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Creative Commons image via ibm4381

Lugging a large inner tube up a hill then cruising back down it provides a fantastic workout that everyone in the family can enjoy! Tubing doesn’t require the balance or coordination that skiing and ice skating do, so even your littlest one can jump in the tube with you. Depending on how many times you walk up and down the hill, you can burn anywhere from 200-300 calories every 30 minutes.

 

7. BUILDING A SNOWMAN

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Creative Commons image via Stephen Fulljames

You can build him, dress him, and befriend him, all while getting a great outdoor workout! Building a snowman burns about 285 calories per hour, strengthening both the upper and lower body, especially if the snowman’s body is extra-large made with lots of snow to lift.

 

8. SKIING

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Creative Commons image via bhenak

Both downhill and cross-country skiing are great ways to get active after a big snowfall. You can make a ski trip a vacation, or simply travel to your local ski hill to enjoy the exercise benefits of skiing. You will burn about 240 calories in 30 minutes skiing downhill, or 340 calories every 30 minutes cross-country skiing.

 

9. WALKING

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Creative Commons image via Andrew_D_Hurley

Walking is a great, relaxing way to burn calories even during the cold months. Walk around to observe your neighbors’ holiday decorations, take the dog along, and have the kids compete to see who can collect the most pine cones. Walking 3 miles per hour can roast up to 230 calories!

 

10. JOINING AN INDOOR SPORTS LEAGUE

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Creative Commons image via Jim Larrison

Embrace your competitive side and sign up for a seasonal indoor sports league! You can try tennis, basketball, soccer, racquetball, and a whole slew of other fun activities that will help you and your family stay fit during the winter. The game/match schedules help keep you motivated, and these teams offer a great way to meet new people and socialize.

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Topics: Healthy Living

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