Winter Activities - Playing In The Snow

Snowy winter activities can be a lot of fun if you’re dressed properly for the weather. Getting outside in the cold and the snow can provide you with several health benefits. First and foremost is the fresh air and sunshine. Most people spend 80-90% of the winter months indoors with dry stagnant air and artificial light. Playing outside for an extended period of time will fill your lungs with fresh air and shed some much needed natural light on your skin.

Another benefit is the increased calorie burn. This is due to your body working against the cold to keep you warm. When you’re out in the cold, your hypothalamus works to keep your core temperature regulated at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for all chemical reactions to take place in your body. When the temperature around you dips, your body employs several methods to keep warm including vasoconstriction, increased activity, and shivering.

Get Outside And Play!

During the holiday season, people tend to spend time with family and friends. Since the whole gang will be together over the holidays this may be the best time to join in some outdoor activities.

Below is a sample list of winter activities and their corresponding calories burned for every half-hour of indulgence (based on a 150 lb individual).

Cross country skiing, moderate speed - 286 calories per half hour

Snowshoeing - 286 calories per half hour

Ice skating, general - 250 calories per half hour

Sledding, tobogganing - 250 calories per half hour

Down-hill skiing, moderate effort - 214 calories per half hour

If you can stay out in the cold and enjoy one of these fine winter activities for an hour, it will give you the extra calorie burn needed to enjoy one Starbucks Grande Hot Chocolate made with non-fat milk – hold the whipped cream. This is guilt-free indulgence as an hour of cross country skiing or snowshoeing can burn 572 calories and the grande hot chocolate will put back a mere 240 of those calories.

Check out this website for a detailed account of calories burned per exercise, based on your body weight and time spent:

Get outside and enjoy playing in the snow!

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