Wintertime is notoriously a season of hibernating, but it is also a great time to catch up with loved ones. For this oft-hectic season, make sure you don’t put too many stringent limits on yourself, and allow yourself a bit of fun and games. Our co-founders, both active family men, inspired this post with some of their favorite family activities during the holidays – whether skating, strolling or skiing.
Even though it may be harder to get up the gumption to exercise outside when it is freezing, there are sports that are meant to be played on ice. Ice-skating is a perfect example of an outing that the whole family can enjoy, while burning up to 600 calories per hour! And it is gentle on the joints for grandma and grandpa. The more adventurous among you will love speeding around, while others can opt for a gentle glide across the ice. It’s the perfect winter wonderland-themed activity for people of all athletic abilities.
If there’s an ice shortage in your neighborhood, you can always motivate the family to get outdoors and take a stroll to gaze at the winter scenery, or take the dog out to enjoy the shortest days of the year! Maybe suggest that stroll around the neighborhood as a way to kick off those New Years weight loss resolutions? The more people that you involve in your outings, the more likely you are to hold yourself accountable. Plus, it is more fun to make conversation as you go, and you can catch up on all the neighborhood or family gossip! Just be sure to bundle up and stay safe if you are walking at night.
Always try to maintain a baseline level of activity. Buy a pedometer so that you can measure all the steps you are taking as you zip to the mall to return presents or take relatives back to the airport. And, as always, when you shop try to park in those deserted, distant spots that force you to walk further to your destination. We should all aim to take about 10,000 steps (or 5 miles) in a day and striding across that giant department store parking lot can put a dent in your daily total. Or, take laps around the perimeter with a few heavy bags before heading back to the car.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to get to a mountain, there is nothing more fun then taking the family skiing (or snowboarding or snowshoeing) for the holidays. Even recreational snowboarders can burn 250 to 630 calories per hour for a 110-200 lb. adult, although it depends on skill, duration, weight and mountain conditions. Skiing accomplishes a comparable 420 calories per hour, and a whole day of skiing means many hours on the slopes. Snowshoing is another family-friendly activity that burns 45 percent more calories than walking the same pace on the same terrain. In fact, Fitness Magazine states that a 150-lb. person will burn 551 calories per hour while snowshoeing — sign me up!
Bonding while whizzing down slopes and around mountain lakes is only one of many other on key benefits of taking your family on a winter wonderland vacation this spring. And who doesn’t love a hot chocolate in the lodge at the end of the day? Whatever activity you pursue, at home or on vacation, outdoor activities will always contribute to keeping you energetic and enjoying the winter splendor, while maintaining your body’s conditioning and cardiovascular baselines.
Above all else, try not to lose focus of all the hard work that you put in so far since the new year began! Stay calm, sane and enjoy the post – holiday respite!